Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. 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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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
A crash May 7 immediately north of the Hastings bridge injured at least one person and snarled traffic in both directions. Southbound traffic was backed up well past 9 a.m. because of the crash. At about 7:20 a.m. today, Hastings police received a 911 report of an erratic driver. Shortly thereafter, there was a report of a crash. The driver of a silver truck was heading southbound on Highway 61 and ended up crossing into the northbound lane. He struck a guardrail and rolled down the embankment.
First National Bank in Hastings was robbed on Tuesday, Dec. 27, at approximately 5:30 p.m. A man entered the bank with a gun and demanded money. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Nobody was injured in the ordeal. The suspect's face and hands were fully covered. He wore a black and red coat, a winter-style hat with ear flaps, old blue jeans and black shoes. He was about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall. The bank is located at North Frontage Road and Pleasant Drive. The Hastings Police Department is working with the FBI on the case.
Derrick Radke and his fiancée were out for a relaxing weekend on the Mississippi River. They had boated to Prescott from Hastings and had pulled up to shore, where they were going to pitch a tent. That's when Radke noticed what he thought was a muskrat swimming toward the shore. The more they watched the creature, the more they realized it wasn't a muskrat. It was a three-foot-long alligator. A pet owner had apparently let the creature go when it outgrew its home.
The Highway 61 bridge in Hastings will be down to one lane of traffic between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25. Crews will be working on the south end of the bridge and need to use the lane for equipment and personnel.
A bald eagle rescued during a snowstorm in March will be released at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings. The eagle was injured in what was believed to be a territorial dispute. Three Carpenter Nature Center staff members and volunteers drove to the house where the eagle had been seen and eventually rescued it. It was nursed back to health at the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center and staff there have concluded the eagle is ready to be released into the wild. The public is invited to attend the release. Carpenter Nature Center is located at 12805 St.
The state government shutdown lasted just three weeks, but its impact will be far greater. On Monday, the project manager for the new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings, Steve Kordosky, said the shutdown will result in a delay of at least six months. The bridge had been scheduled to be completed by May 31, 2013. Now, it appears that the earliest the project will be finished is November 2013. The more likely scenario puts completion at May 2014. What happened? First, high water kept construction crews out of the river this spring and summer.