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Design wrapping up as start of Red Wing bridge project nears

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During the open house, guests were able to view the timeline of the bridge throughout the four year process. (Photos by Kit Murray)2 / 3
Jay Owens, city engineer, discusses with guests the layout of the bridge and how it will change Red Wing. 3 / 3

With final design on the estimated $100 million project to replace the Highway 63 Mississippi River bridge and alter approach roadways wrapping up this year, Minnesota and Wisconsin transportation officials are looking ahead to property acquisition and public outreach.

A public relations team will be hired to help keep officials engaged with the Red Wing and Pierce County communities, Minnesota Department of Transportation Project Manager Terry Ward said Thursday, Nov. 3, at a project open house in the Red Wing Public Library.

"Behind the scenes we'll start to reach out and network with the business community ... and residents, and all the people we think will be affected (by construction)," Ward said.

The existing Eisenhower Bridge is the only Mississippi River crossing from Hastings to Wabasha. The plan is to keep the crossing open while the new bridge is built alongside.

Craig Haas, design consultant, highlighted some key project details during the slideshow: moving to a four-way stop sign at Third and Plum streets, a bicycle track along Third Street to introduce people to the trail over the bridge and replacing a box culvert on the Wisconsin side.

The four-year project will also have a Barn Bluff vibration study done to make sure construction will not exceed thresholds.

Chad Hanson with MnDOT commented on how each open house for the project has attracted a larger audience.

"We were glad with the turnout at the meeting, we got a lot of good feedback from people," he said. "We're getting down to the last details, tying up the loose ends."

Hanson suggested for those interested to visit project displays available at the mezzanine level of the St. James Hotel. The display will have 3D models as well as a site model showing Barn Bluff and a timeline of the project.

Selection of the project contractor is planned for March 2017, with construction slated to begin in the spring. For updates, visit the project website at

RiverTown Multimedia reporter Michael Brun contributed to this story.

Key dates

Tree clearing — winter 2016/2017

Begin construction — May 2017

Bridge 9103 — 2017-2018

Plum/Third Street signal removal — 2018

River Bridge complete — fall 2019

Bridge 9040 removal — 2020

Construction complete — fall 2020


Watch an concept animation of the bridge below (via MnDOT):

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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