If you’re watching the progress of the bridge, you’ve seen three deck pours.

Our next two are scheduled for Sept. 17 and 19. These are key efforts in the project. Concrete takes time to cure or reach a strength that will hold and sustain weight. Typically, the contractor needs to wait at least three days before the next pour can take place.

Crews have been busy since the steel tub girders for the center span of the new Highway 63 Red Wing Bridge over the Mississippi River were installed in late June. Those girders gave the bridge shape to allow forms to be built to be ready for concrete.

Meanwhile, we’ve been able to lift the surcharge soil off the road bed on the Wisconsin side. The contractor is removing the existing surcharge from the mainline road and placing it on the east jug handle of 825th Street. You may recall that we had additional sand and soil on the new road bed to ensure that the soil was compacting sufficiently to build the road upon it.

Crews are also working on the box culvert at Mud Lake and continue backfilling between the retaining walls that you see on the Red Wing side.

There’s still a lot of work to do to ensure that traffic is travel on the new bridge later this fall. We hope to have a much better targeted date for this milestone in the coming weeks. Much still depends on the progress the contractor makes and the weather. We will keep the updates coming as we approach the first day of fall this month.

Tour Sept. 17

This fall is a good time to take a tour to see what’s happening. The Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce has a tour scheduled at 11 a.m., Sept. 17. You can sign up for the tours by contacting the chamber by email frontdesk@redwingchamber.com or call 651-388-4719. We’ll likely have more tours this season, but this would be a good one to learn about how the bridge construction has progressed.

It’s just another way we’re trying to ensure you know about the work and have an opportunity to learn about the significant bridge that’s being built in your community. We’ve appreciated the welcome you’ve provided over the past two years.

This $63.4 million project is a strong partnership with MnDOT that includes the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the city of Red Wing, the Federal Highway Administration and our contractor, Zenith Tech Inc. As part of our team’s efforts, you will see Red Wing City Engineer Jay Owens and me together at various community events or on a bridge tour. We’d be happy to visit with your group or provide your organization or business with the necessary information about the project so you can keep your employees informed.

We’ve found that if you know more about the project, you can help others understand it and minimize any possible disruptions it might cause. We do regular updates on the Community Access Channel 6, so you can catch us there as we provide updates and field questions. You can catch the replays on the city of Red Wing’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/CityofRedWing.

We have a lot of good information that can help explain the project. You can learn more about the project or sign up for email updates by going to MnDOT’s project web site http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/redwing-bridge/ or you can follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RedWingBridgeProject.

Mark Anderson is the MnDOT construction project manager for the Red Wing Bridge project. He can be reached at 507-205-6402 or mark.w.anderson@state.mn.us. This column is scheduled to run at the first of each month.