I-35W Bridge Collapse - Week 47

Week 47 by Ivy Chang | September 28, 2010

A concrete crusher is used to crush the old 
I-35W roadbed into piles. Each pile will be recycled on the new roadbed. 
Photo by Ivy Chang.

Over 90 pre-cast segments are installed

The pre-cast segments continue to close the gap across the Mississippi River. Crews have placed 90 of 120 segments needed for the main span and, this week, will install up to another 10 segments. The barge crane moved to the middle of the river to continue to lift segments to both sides of the bridge.

Roads near the casting yard are closed periodically as workers transport the last of the pre-cast segments of the main span to West River Parkway to be placed on the barge.

When all segments are placed, there will be a 7-foot gap between the two sides of the bridge with no more than a 6-inch difference in elevation. Next week, crews will complete the main span with closure pours of cast-in-place concrete. The northbound side will be completed during the week of July 7, and the southbound side will be closed about 10 days later.

On the north side, crews are installing fences along the exit and entrance ramps from University Avenue to Fourth Street Southeast. They will remove sheet pile near the new retaining wall along the exit ramp from northbound I-35W toward the end of this week.

I-35W roadway prepared for paving as painting continues

The barge moved to the middle of the Mississippi with the ringer crane waiting to lift pre-cast segments (foreground) into place. Photo by Ivy Chang.

Concrete pouring for Span 4, connecting Pier 4 and Abutment 5, and the Second Street Bridge continues. Concrete trucks are traveling from the Minneapolis plant through the project site to areas on the north side of the river. On the south side, road work and grading are almost complete in preparation for paving the highway from Washington Avenue to Abutment 1. Painting also is ongoing on the interior and exterior sides of each bridge, northbound and southbound.

As the bridge nears completion, large crowds gather for the Saturday Superintendent Talks and during the week on the Tenth Avenue Bridge. This Saturday, July 5, will bring larger crowds to see the completion of the north span. According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the bridge will open to traffic in September.

An artist has been on the bridge painting various stages of the bridge construction and will display his paintings after bridge construction is complete.