The four-year, $63.4 million project to replace the Highway 63/Eisenhower Bridge over the Mississippi River at Red Wing is scheduled to wrap up in summer 2020. The Republican Eagle newsroom covered the project from day one; find links to our reporting below, as well as updates from the construction manager, photos and helpful links.
Foot by foot and hour by hour, the center span of the old Eisenhower Bridge was removed Feb. 6, 2020. Crews used industrial jacks to slowly lower the the center span truss — that's the steel structure of the bridge over the Mississippi River — to an awaiting barge on the water below. The structure was lowered at a rate of about 15 feet per hour, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, a process scheduled to take about five hours to complete. CONTINUE READING
About the project
Construction to replace the nearly 60-year-old Highway 63/Eisenhower Bridge started in May 2017, but planning for the project started years earlier. The old Mississippi River crossing was showing its age. Following the Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse in 2007, the Red Wing bridge was added to the list of bridges marked for replacement.
The cross-state truss bridge was labeled “fracture critical” by nature of its design, meaning the entire structure could collapse should a key component fail. That made the replacement project eligible for newly approved state funding.
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The project is a joint venture by the Wisconsin and Minnesota transportation departments, city of Red Wing and Federal Highway Administration. Plans called for the new bridge to be built alongside in order to keep the existing crossing open for the estimated 13,000-plus vehicles that cross the river each day. It is the only Mississippi River crossing from Hastings to Wabasha.
“The Highway 63 bridge at Red Wing serves as a vital link for communities and commerce in this region,” said Mike Dougherty, MnDOT District 6 director of public engagement and communications. “Having a safe, reliable crossing for all who use this bridge will serve this region for generations and allow businesses and communities to grow and prosper.”
The project also included extensive alterations to approach roads on both sides of the river. That work as well as finishing touches on the new bridge are continuing into 2020.
A ceremony is planned for August 2020 to celebrate the completion of the project.
From the construction manager
The view of the Red Wing Bridge is about to change permanently. Beginning on Feb. 5, Zenith Tech Inc., the bridge contractor, is scheduled to begin the removal of the old bridge’s spans, beginning with the center span truss. A lot of planning, analyzing and discussing goes into this effort before crews begin assembling equipment to ensure a safe removal. CONTINUE READING
- Minnesota Department of Transportation Project Site
- Wisconsin Department of Transportation Overview
- Red Wing Bridge Project on Facebook
- City of Red Wing Project Home
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- Find more in the Red Wing Bridge Project video playlist
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