Our favorite bridge type? The cable option
We agree with the city of Hastings on this one: The right option for the new Hastings bridge is the cable bridge.
Is it the cheapest? No. Is it the easiest to maintain? No. But visually, it would be both stunning and unique. And it would take less time to complete than the typical and boring concrete box girder design.
As you probably know, there are three design options still on the table: the cable, the concrete box girder, and the arch.
The concrete box girder is similar to the Wakota Bridge. It's simply a river crossing. Nothing fancy.
The arch? Well, see our current bridge if you'd like an example of an arch.
The cable? There's only one other similar bridge in the state: It's a footbridge over Hiawatha Avenue in south Minneapolis.
It was 104 years ago the Spiral Bridge opened for traffic in Hastings. For nearly 50 years, the unique bridge was much of our city's identity. It was the only one of its kind, after all.
Would this cable bridge be that unique? No. Would it realisticaly attract tourists by the droves? No.
But would it be safe? Yes.
Would it have two lanes of traffic heading in each direction? Yes.
Would it have fewer piers in the water than the current bridge? Yes.
Would it be unique? Yes. It would be. And after living the last 25 years with an outdated and outmoded bridge, let's bring something here that we haven't seen all over the state.
We'll be living with this bridge for the next 100 years. Let's have something for those next 100 years that celebrates our history as a rivertown with a fondness for bridges.
As the city wrote to the Minnesota Department of Transportation:
"As a significant river city, it is imperative another legacy bridge is constructed in Hastings and a cable stayed (supported) bridge would continue that legacy as the first of its kind in the state of Minnesota built to carry vehicular traffic."