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Editorial: Travelers should get faster communications

To the best of our knowledge, the team of workers building the new Hastings bridge came to a decision on Tuesday. The move of the main span would have to be delayed.

The schedule would have to change. The project would go back to having two phases.

The first phase would include the main span moving out to the water.

The second phase would include the span being lifted in place sometime next week.

That delay brought with it a significant impact on local travelers. The bridge here won't be closed this weekend, as had been planned. It will instead be closed sometime next week.

You wouldn't know that, though, by reading the Minnesota Department of Transportation's website Wednesday.

Or by the signs on the roads.

We will give MnDOT the benefit of the doubt here and presume they came to a decision sometime on Tuesday to delay the lift. Tuesday night they came to the council meeting and told councilmembers of the delay. When asked where residents should turn for up-to-date information on the project, MnDOT said to visit their website.

But, as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, this significant change wasn't communicated on their website. Nor had the traffic signs been changed for those people driving along Highway 61. On Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., those signs still read that the bridge was to be closed this weekend.

By that time, officials had at least 16 hours to have changed the signs and the website.

A shutdown of a bridge that carries more than 30,000 vehicles per day needs to be communicated immediately. When plans change, which is certainly expected and understandable, those plans need to be communicated immediately, too.