A rolling, heated building was delivered on the unused portion of I-35W north of Washington Avenue that will cover the entire casting bed and concrete form for the new I-35W bridge.
Three other buildings will arrive this week to be assembled to keep the concrete and the work crews warm throughout the casting process. Concrete for the first segment of the main bridge span will be poured in mid-January.
Crews have started excavating for the footing of the southbound side of Pier 3 and will pour concrete during the week of January 7. To protect the site, workers will create a temporary shelter using sheets of plastic attached to trusses.
Through December 28, crews completed drilling 28 shafts and filled 22 of those shafts for piers 2, 3 and 4. Work began on drilling 69 other shafts on the north end of abutment 5 and the Second Street Bridge; this work continues until early February.
Drilling crews will work until 4:30 a.m., perhaps seven days a week, to take advantage of good weather, until all 109 foundation shafts have been drilled.
Legislators are in recess until February. When they convene, a major topic will be road, bridge and transportation funding. About 60 projects are on hold in Minnesota until funding for the I-35W bridge is resolved to determine the appropriations left to pay for the remaining projects.