Traffic to move onto new bridge tonight, tomorrow
The Hastings Bridge Project - three years in the making - has reached an exciting and critical milestone: late today, construction crews will reroute the southbound lane of traffic on Highway 61 onto the new Hastings Bridge.
Approximately 24 hours later, crews will reroute the northbound lane of traffic on Highway 61 onto the new bridge. Please note that the pedestrian walkway will not be completed until the end of the year - no pedestrians will be allowed on the bridge. The new Hastings Bridge will feature the longest free-standing tied arch rib on the continent that will serve the community of Hastings and the entire southeastern region of the metro area for the next 100 years.
Please be patient and courteous to other drivers and construction crews if you are traveling through Hastings during the traffic switchovers.
The City of Hastings is open and accessible. All Hastings area marinas are open and accessible via Highway 61.
On Tuesday, June 4, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the city will host a commemorative service for the current Hastings Bridge.
Following a short memorial led by Mayor Paul Hicks, the public will be allowed to walk the main span of the current Hastings Bridge for a final time. The walk will serve as the city's tribute to a structure that has provided safe passage for residents, commuters and visitors across the Mississippi River since 1951. Local bagpiper Andrew Fox will lead the processional in a final farewell march.
Meet on the north lawn of City Hall, 101. E. Fourth St. Event attendees are asked to arrive early and park in the public parking lots in the downtown area. Lots are located at the intersection of Fourth and Sibley streets and at Second and Tyler streets. Street closures in the area of the event will be marked with appropriate signage.
For more information about this celebration, visit the city's web site at www.ci.hastings.mn.us.
Current Hastings Bridge demolition
The joint venture will take possession of the current Hastings Bridge and begin the process of deconstructing it as early as 7 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5.
Second Street will be closed from the east ramp to the west ramp, along with both the east and west access ramps, beginning at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5.
The closure can be expected to last 72 hours and is a necessary safety measure for construction crews beginning to dismantle the portion of the current Hastings Bridge on the south end of the Mississippi River, closest to downtown Hastings.
The entire first phase of the demolition process is anticipated to last for one week. The remainder of the bridge will be dismantled later in the year.
Watch project activities in real time by visiting the project webpage at www.mndot.gov/hastingsbridge and accessing the 24-hour web cam. If you haven't already tested the web cam, this spring is an opportune time to visit the project page as we inch closer to opening part of the new bridge to traffic.