Chad Richardson has been the general manager and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette since 2007. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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HASTINGS — There's good news and bad news for residents of the area who take the Highway 61 bridge over the Mississippi River. First, the good news: Just after rush...
Beginning May 20, Highway 61 near Hastings will be reduced to a single lane in each direction through the intersection of Highway 10/Point Douglas Drive and Highway 61. The Highway 61/Highway 10 intersection will remain open and accessible. Construction work has been pushed back from Friday, May 17 to Monday, May 20. The lane restrictions will be in effect for about two weeks (May 20-31).
A body was found along the Vermillion River in Hastings on Tuesday afternoon. The body was found near 10th and Progress streets by an outdoorsman who frequents the area. The remains were recovered Wednesday by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Dakota County Special Operations Team. On July 21, 2011, a woman was seen going over the Vermillion Falls, just upstream from where this body was located. Authorities are not saying yet if the remains found Tuesday belong to that woman.
One person was killed in a car crash on Highway 50 near New Trier at about 2:40 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. New Trier is located just south of Hastings. The Minnesota state patrol said that 27-year-old Dennis Underwood of Cannon Falls died after being ejected from the vehicle. A 26-year-old Hampton resident, Keri Gesme, is in critical condition. Gesme was airlifted from the scene. According to the state patrol, the 1982 Chevrolet S-10 they were traveling in left the roadway traveling "at a very high rate of speed" and hit a driveway approach.
By Tuesday, the landscape in Hastings will be significantly altered for the next 100 years. The main span for the new Highway 61 bridge here is on schedule to be floated in place, jacked up and secured by the end of the day Monday, Sept. 24. That means the current bridge will close to traffic starting early Saturday morning, Sept. 22, and continuing through Monday. The timing of the move and lift has been delayed several times, but it does appear as though things are on schedule for this weekend.
There has been another change of plans for the Hastings bridge closure, which had been scheduled for this week. It looks as though the bridge will close during 48 to 72 hours sometime next week. When asked about the delay from last week's scheduled closure to this week's scheduled closure, MnDOT's Kirsten Klein said in an email that "the scale and magnitude of the process requires them to be very diligent and tedious with all of the checks they go through." In an email update sent out by MnDOT today, the delay was explained like this: "We've had to postpone the actual float-in again because
There has been a change of plans with the upcoming move of the main span for the new Hastings bridge. That change means there will be no closure of the Highway 61 bridge in Hastings this weekend. Here is the revised schedule for the project: Early Friday morning, Sept. 7, crews will roll the 545-foot main span out onto the river. During that time, boat traffic on the river will be shut down. The channel should reopen by Saturday afternoon or evening. The span will sit on two barges until it is ready to be floated down and lifted up. The earliest that will happen is Tuesday, Sept. 11.
There will be a 48-hour delay with the Hastings bridge project, it was learned late Thursday. The move will now begin Friday morning, Sept. 7, meaning the current Highway 61 bridge in Hastings will be closed starting Saturday and continuing until Monday. The bridge is expected to reopen sometime Monday, Sept. 10, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The 6.5 million pound main span will be floated out to the river on Friday, Sept. Sept. 7. On Saturday, Sept. 8, prep work will be done for the lift of the bridge. On Sunday, Sept. 9, the bridge will be lifted into place.
The Highway 61 bridge in Hastings will be closed in both directions when the main span for the new Hastings bridge is floated into place. The closure is expected to last around 48 hours, but the exact length of time isn't yet known. In addition, river traffic will not be allowed during the move. The public boat launch will be shut down, too. There is still no firm date for the move, but it is expected to take place just after Labor Day.
Drivers in Hastings get good news this week: The Highway 61 bridge over the Mississippi River will, if all goes as planned, be completed six months earlier than previous projections. After high water and a state government shutdown prompted significant delays in the project, Minnesota Department of Transportation officials said the project wouldn't be complete until May 2014. Now, it looks as though the bridge could be finished at the end of 2013. The change is due in large part to an agreement worked out between the contractors, MnDOT, the Army Corps of Engineers and the shipping indust