The final span in the new Interstate St. Anthony Falls 35W bridge in Minneapolis was to be put in the place this week just days before the one year anniversary on the Aug. 1 of the predecessor bridge’s tragic collapse into the Mississippi River. DN editor-in-chief John Dodge ventured back to the new bridge this week to shoot some photographs just as he did a week after former bridge collapsed last year, killing 13.
As it stands, the design build process will take 437 days with the new opening planned for Dec. 24 although there is talk of the grand opening taking place sooner. A rush was put on the $234 million bridge project to mitigate the estimated economic impact which the Minnesota DOT has pegged at $400,000 a day or $60 million until the new bridge is finished.
The new bridge, built by Flatiron Construction Corp., is put together with concrete piers and emphasizes aesthetics and safety. It will also have a sensor-based system to monitor the bridge throughout its lifetime. Below are some comparisons between the old and new bridge from the Minnesota DOT web site:
- 100-year life span
- 10 lanes of traffic, five in each direction—two lanes wider than the former bridge
- 189 feet wide—the previous bridge was 113 feet wide
- 13 foot wide right shoulders and 14 foot wide left shoulders, the previous bridge had no shoulders
- Light Rail Transport-ready which may help accommodate future transportation needs
- Design-build project complete in 437 days.
- Designed to be aesthetically pleasing and fit in with its environment