ROADS/BRIDGES: New connecting bridge for Minnesota, Wisconsin completed

Oct. 24, 2016

The two newly completed spans are part of an $189 million project on I-90

Top transportation and elected officials from Minnesota and Wisconsin celebrated the completion of a new Mississippi River crossing Friday.

With all lanes and ramps open to traffic, the two newly completed spans are carrying some 28,000 cars a day between the two states on Interstate 90, replacing a 49-year-old steel structure that was closed in April.

A joint venture of the two states, the $189 million I-90 project includes a total of nine spans moving traffic over the river between the Interstate and Hwy. 61.

The I-90 bridge is one of four such projects connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin that have been undertaken recently: The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) celebrated the completion of a new bridge at Winona; construction is underway on a St. Croix River crossing in the Twin Cities area; and bids will be let next year for a replacement of the Hwy. 63 bridge at Red Wing.

Construction of the bridges and interchanges has taken four years. The final landscaping is expected to be completed next spring.

The project is part of MnDOT’s efforts to replace or modify “fracture critical” bridges that began after the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people. The old bridge, completed in 1967 as part of the new interstate, lacked structural redundancies that would prevent a collapse should any one part fail.

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