You may have noticed in the past few months as the steel truss of the old Red Wing Bridge has been removed that the new bridge has begun to dominate the view and bring us closer to how things will look at the end of this project.

We’re removing the piers now. Watch for news soon about the final removal of Pier 2, the river pier. Crews have been cutting it down and removing the concrete by barge. When it reaches the water level, the contractor will then finish the work by blasting it apart down to the riverbed. We’ll alert everyone to the plans as we get a date set in early July. Crews will blast the pier, but also utilize a large covering similar to a blanket that will provide safety as well. It’s a process we’ve utilized elsewhere.

Meanwhile, we’re also continuing work on Highway 61 to repave the highway adjacent to the bridge. Traffic lanes have shifted and will continue to shift to allow motorists to use the highway while the work takes place. Please slow down and be attentive in the work zones. It helps everyone get home safely.

Recently, we detour traffic overnight to remove the temporary bridge we utilized for traffic to the old bridge while we built the new bridge.

If you look on the Wisconsin side, we’re busy getting the jug handle ramp off the highway that will allow right turns off the highway and right turns to join the highway to go north. On the other side will be the ramp that allows traffic to exit or return to Red Wing. It’ll be a good safety improvement for all who use the Wisconsin side of the river.

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Also be aware that the pedestrian and bicycle crossing the bridge remains closed. Please do not utilize it until it’s open. It’s used for ongoing construction work and staging on the new bridge. If you are riding your bike across, please use the shoulder of the bridge.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in August. We’ll keep you posted on the progress as the final elements of the project are scheduled and then completed.

MnDOT road work has been identified as a critical service in Gov. Tim Walz’s Stay at Home executive order. Following guidance from state and federal health officials, and to prevent further spread of COVID-19, crews will maintain physical distancing practices while working. Other measures will be used on site where deemed appropriate and safe.

This $63.4 million project is a strong partnership between MnDOT and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the city of Red Wing, the Federal Highway Administration and our contractor, Zenith Tech.