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The roadway on the old Hastings bridge has been removed by construction crews. This is a view from below the bridge looking up. Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson

Hastings bridge on track for opening in either November or December

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Crews have been hard at work finishing the last pieces of the new Highway 61 bridge, and traffic is expected to be using all four lanes by the end of November or early December.

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Last week and this week, hundreds of concrete trucks deposited the concrete needed to fill in the south approach over Second Street. The pours were completed on three separate days, Aug. 7, 10 and 15, requiring temporary closures of Second Street. One pour covered about 1,100 yards around Pier 5, requiring about 110 concrete trucks. The third and final pour was scheduled to happen today, Thursday morning, from 3 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On the old bridge, the deck has been removed. The next big visible piece — removing the steel trusses — might not begin until September. Once that starts, the steel will be removed piece by piece over several weeks.

Drivers may have noticed some work being done on the north side of the bridge, near Hub's Landing. A small building is being constructed there and will be the anti-icing pumphouse. The anti-icing system is a pressurized system that automatically senses weather conditions that would lead to ice. In such conditions, it reacts by spraying environmentally friendly potassium acetate on the bridge deck through a network of small sprayers. Cars traveling over the bridge help disperse the chemical evenly across the deck.

Questions about the bridge project can be directed through the project hotline, 651-775-5244, or by email, HastingsBridge.dot@state.mn.us.

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Katrina Styx
Katrina Styx has been a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette since 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Prior to coming to Hastings, Katrina reported for weekly newspapers in Jordan, Minn., and River Falls, Wis.
(651) 319-4501
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