I hope you’ve been able to witness the changing sight lines as you look downriver from Red Wing toward the Eisenhower Bridge of Valor. The view is changing, especially fast since we removed the center span of the old bridge last month.
Since then, we’ve removed three more spans and are working on another, Span No. 3. It may be down by the time you read this column. The center span was removed by lowering it onto barges after crews cut the four corners to release it and allow the hydraulic jacks to lower. After that, it’s been cut up in pieces for removal.
As the spans are removed, the crews with our contractor, Zenith Tech Inc., will then start removing the piers. Pier No. 4 on the Wisconsin side has already been removed. Crews plan to cut the concrete off in pieces, eventually getting the piers down to a level where equipment will chisel away at the remainders while on barges. The pieces are expected to fall onto barges, but workers will scan the bottom of the river to ensure that no elements end up on the bottom.
ZTI has given Red Wing City Engineer Jay Owens three pieces of the bridge that will eventually be placed in the Goodhue County History Center. Additionally, the bridge plates – the information plaque that identifies the bridge and its date – have been given to Jay as well for the old Eisenhower Bridge and the Highway 63 bridge that crosses traffic above Highway 61 coming into Red Wing. Those will also be part of the county history collections.
Additional work continues on the project. Crews have been working on the box culvert installation on the Wisconsin side. Later in the summer, they’ll also wrap up building out and paving the jug handle route for motorists to exit and enter the road just over the bridge from campgrounds, bar and residences along that side.
On the Red Wing side, crews will be working on water mains and storm sewer along with regrading Highway 61. There will also be grading ahead as we remove the road to the old bridge and remove the temporary bridge that has been over Highway 61.
It all means there’s still a lot of work to do this construction season to reach completion. We thank you for your interest and cooperation as we move ever so closer to wrapping up this project.
This $63.4 million project is a strong partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation that includes the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the city of Red Wing, the Federal Highway Administration and Zenith Tech Inc.
You can learn more about the project or sign up for email updates by going to MnDOT’s project website, www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/redwing-bridge/ or you can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedWingBridgeProject/.