Completion of bridge projects delayedby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The state government shutdown and high water levels will delay completion of the $120 million Hastings bridge across the Mississippi River, Minnesota transportation officials said.
Last month's two-week government shutdown pushed back work on the project, said Kent Barnard of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Also, Unseasonably high water levels caused crews to suspend construction of bridge piers in the river. Water levels are also affecting work on the $164 million Lafayette bridge project.
Completion of the Hastings bridge was set for May 2013, but could be pushed back to that fall or even 2014.
When completed, the two new bridges will each provide two through-lanes and an auxiliary lane in each direction for entering and exiting traffic. The project includes the modification and realignment of the Highway 52 bridges over Interstate 94, and redecking of the Highway 52 bridges south of the Mississippi. A pedestrian and bicycle crossing over the river on the northbound bridge is also planned.
The existing Lafayette Bridge that spans the Mississippi River and connects West St. Paul to downtown will remain open until fall of 2012, with no major traffic disruptions expected. Traffic will be switched to the new bridge in late 2012, opening two lanes of traffic in each direction. The existing Lafayette Bridge will be demolished.