The Minnesota Department of Transportation decided to replace the Hastings Bridge over the Mississippi River instead of rebuilding it. Hastings is south and east of the Twin Cities.
Bridge inspection reports from 1997 through 2007 indicated that the current bridge worsened with more corrosion, crumbling concrete, broken bearings and rotting sidewalks. In 2008, Mn/DOT repaired gusset plates that connect steel beams, sidewalks and bearings as temporary fixes. With traffic that doubled over the last 20 years on the 2-lane bridge, residents are concerned about driving across the bridge.
Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks said Mn/DOT decided to build a new span on the upstream side of the existing bridge to handle southbound traffic and rebuild the existing bridge to handle northbound traffic. The old bridge will be demolished.
He said he and area residents like to see a cable bridge design. They are less enthused about a box girder bridge which is the design of the I-35W Bridge.
Area residents will have the opportunity to look at designs for a new bridge on March 16 and April 6 at Hastings City Hall.
Mn/DOT’s goal is to have the work under contract by June 1, 2010 with construction beginning a few months later. The project will require 3 to 6 years to complete and a cost between $232 million to $303 million. Mn/DOT will decide on a design by June.