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State shutdown means no work will be done on the new Hastings bridge

All work on the new Hastings bridge has ceased. With the state shutdown putting the Minnesota Department of Transportation on hold indefinitely, all work on state projects has come to a stop.

The setback is nothing new to the project. High water late last fall slowed down work, but crews were able to catch up. The bigger problem came this spring with significant flooding and then an extended period of high water. Crews were just preparing to get back in the river, but the shutdown foiled those plans.

It is unclear how the shutdown will affect the long-term project schedule. The bridge is slated for completion by May 31, 2013.

State representative Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, expressed disappointment in an e-mail to his constituents early Friday morning.

"I am extremely disappointed Governor Dayton chose not to call a special session this evening so the legislature could pass a 10 day temporary funding bill," he wrote. "This temporary bill would have continued state government funding at rates established during our last budget cycle.

"The legislature could have also approve funding for the areas of government where we agreed on a total dollar amount with Governor Dayton, which I also found discouraging. That would have kept MnDOT road construction jobs like our Hastings bridge project going. State parks and the Minnesota Zoo could have stayed open for this busy Fourth of July weekend."

Chad Richardson

Chad Richardson is the news director for RiverTown Multimedia. He was the publisher of four RiverTown publications until 2016, when he was named news director. He was previously general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He worked at the Hastings 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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