Thursday, June 05, 2008

The New Bridge

Every Saturday at 11am, the MN Dept. of Transportation (MNDoT) leads a tour of the construction of the new I35-W bridge. For those readers not in Minnesota, last August the old bridge tragically collapsed. People gather at the parking ramp on the west bank of the 10th Avenue bridge and the tours leave from there. Look for the guys in the orange vests.

Last weekend, my dad and I went down to take the tour. It was a perfect sunny day and we joined 200+ other people down there. The new bridge has twelve concrete & post tension steel piers. You really don't get a sense of how massive it will be until you are standing near it - 5 lanes of traffic each way and a lane for future light rail down the center. They have about 600 people working on the bridge and they work 24/7. They are projecting finishing construction in early Fall.

Here are some shots I took. They are working on the bridge from both banks of the river. This week they started working on the concrete that will expanse the river and join the two banks using massive crane on a barge in the river.

If you get a chance, take the tour. The DOT website is also very fun to read through.

A few quick notes: The steel poles are temporary support.You can see the lock & damn that was used to lower the water level last summer after the old bridge collapsed. The crane used to put the concrete that will span the river is the one loaded on a barge in the river. That's the Minneapolis skyline in the background. And the last photo is of remnants of the old bridge.


Josh said...

Neat photos. I'm good friends with one of the safety engineers on the bridge site. He has shown me some great photos of the construction but I've yet to go take the tour. Thanks for sharing!

StuccoHouse said...

Josh - It was very fun to see it with my dad (structural engineer). He was able to give me the inside scopp on things. You really should bring your kids down there, they would probably enjoy it.

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