I-35W Bridge Collapse - Week 54

Week 54 by Ivy Chang | September 28, 2010

Construction is at the final stretch

Crews have completed building "pier ears" formed above each pier on all sides of the new bridge. These extensions protect the bridge bearings and add to the aesthetics of the bridge.

During the week of August 18, concrete pouring between the north abutment and Second Street Southeast continues on the north side of the Mississippi River and will be completed during the weekend.

Along the mainline highway on both sides of the bridge, crews are forming median barriers and installing fencing. In addition, they’re planting trees and installing signs on the Washington Avenue entrance and exit ramps.

Traffic signals, lighting and the anti-icing system continue to be installed and tested on the bridge and on the highway extensions. On West River Parkway near the south end of the bridge, crews are removing the pavement to prepare for restoring the roadway and landscaping under the bridge.

Curb and gutter work on the streets around the bridge also will be completed.

Finishing work on the main span continues

With the final construction of pier ears, crews will finish painting all sides of the main span this week. To create a smooth driving surface on the bridge deck, crews will begin grinding the northbound lanes 24 hours a day until the lanes are completed.

The I-35W replacement bridge is connected and crews are paving and grinding the surface to prepare for traffic. One crew completes construction of pier ears (left) while another crew continues to paint the northbound bridge. Photo by Tim Davis, courtesy of FIGG.

During this week, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will close one lane each on Washington Avenue and University Avenue while crews add lane stripes and other permanent markings until both roads are completely marked. This procedure should be complete by August 21.

One sign that the bridge is nearly complete will happen this week when crews remove all the falsework, or temporary supports, under the side spans on both sides of the river.

As the Second Street Bridge is completed, crews will begin installing the decorative tiles on the walls supporting the bridge. Twin Cities students made the decorative concrete and recycled glass tiles this past spring in a program to help students understand the bridge design and construction.

The bridge is scheduled to open between mid-September and mid-October.