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Red Wing approves Highway 63 bridge plan, project to begin this spring

A pair of circular overlooks will give pedestrians crossing the new Highway 63 bridge a place to view the river and piers. (Photo illustration via the project’s Visual Quality Manual)

Red Wing City Council voted unanimously Monday, Jan. 23, to approve the Highway 63 bridge replacement project.

Construction will take place between 2017 and 2020. Work includes replacing the existing Eisenhower Bridge and modifying approach roads on the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides. The bridge is the only Mississippi River crossing from Hastings to Wabasha.

The project will be overseen by Terry Ward, a construction manager with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Ward takes over from Chad Hansen, another MnDOT employee, who bid a fond farewell to Red Wing Monday night.

"I want to say thanks to the past and present Red Wing City Council. You have all been great," the Goodhue County native said. "The city of Red Wing is one of the best places we deal with in our regional district. It's been a good seven years, and I'm sure the construction will be successful."

PREVIOUSLY: Design wrapping up as start of Red Wing bridge project nears

Ward has overseen multiple bridge projects, including the recent project in Winona and understands the headaches construction causes local businesses and commuters.

"We will make sure we're engaging the business community, and make sure the construction does not have a substantial adverse effect," Ward said.

MnDOT will hire a public relations firm to engage people and communities around the region and to send the message that Red Wing will remain open for business. The project will also have its own Facebook page and maintain an updated web and social media presence.

Construction could start as early as May 2017.