Our bridge is taking shape as each day passes.

I hope you were able to see some of the center span tub girders being installed late last month. All went well with our contractor Zenith Tech Inc., utilizing barges, cranes and dozens of workers to safely raise and install the final girders that connect to the bridge piers. The effort requires a great deal of coordination, communication and cooperation to connect the three segments into one 376,000-pound assembly that bridged between piers 1 and 2. Overall, the total bridge structural steel weight is approximately 5.5 million pounds.

The individual tub girders were delivered to the Minnesota side in the upper harbor in Red Wing, where three segments were assembled into a span. Then they were transported down the river to the bridge work zone, where cranes lifted each span into place. One per day. There were three rows with each row assembled from three pieces.

If you did miss the work, you can still watch a quick version of three days of work on a time lapse video assembled by our partners at the city of Red Wing. It’s on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wrR-3U0asE, as well as our project Facebook page, which we list at the end of this column.

A short time later, crews began the pouring concrete for the bridge decks. This will continue through July. Again, it’s an effort that takes great coordination, cooperation and communication. Over the coming months, you’ll see the bridge take greater shape and the area begin to look closer to what the final effort will resemble. Much work remains, but we are drawing closer to our end date later this year for construction of the new bridge.

If you’re wanting to see more of the bridge, there’s an opportunity on July 30 from our partners with the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce. We coordinate for tours and one is scheduled at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 30. This is a rigorous tour and requires closed toe shoes, being able to hike on uneven ground and through mud, and at heights. Space is limited to first 20 reservations. Check out http://redwingchamber.com or call 651-388-4719.

Later that week, look for us at River City Days. We’ll have an information booth set up to help explain the work that’s taken place, showcase some of the history of the river crossing and you can even talk with us on Friday, Aug. 2. It’s just another way we’re trying to ensure you know about the work and have an opportunity to learn about the significant bridge that’s being built in your community. We’ve appreciated the welcome you’ve provided over the past two years.

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

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson

As part of our team’s efforts, you will see Red Wing City Engineer Jay Owens and me together at various community events or on a bridge tour. We’d be happy to visit with your group or provide your organization or business with the necessary information about the project so you can keep your employees informed. We’ve found that if you know more about the project, you can help others understand it and minimize any possible disruptions it might cause. We do regular updates on the Community Access Channel 6, so you can catch us there as we provide updates and field questions. Our next visit is noon Aug. 6 a in Red Wing City Council chambers. You can catch the replays on the city of Red Wing’s YouTube channel.

We have a lot of good information that can help explain the project. You can learn more about the project or sign up for email updates by going to MnDOT’s project web site http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/redwing-bridge/ or you can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedWingBridgeProject/.