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Open house on new Hastings bridge is Sept. 22

The public will be able to see visual representations of the new Highway 61 bridge and designs of the public art, which will be included at an open house from noon to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Hastings City Hall, 101 E. Fourth St.

Project leaders from Lunda/Ames will be present and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) will also have representatives to discuss the project.

Earlier this week, Mn/DOT installed a temporary barrier along the north en of Southbound Highway 61. Soil borings were also completed in another area for the new bridge.

In addition to maintaining access or automobile, the department is also committed to maintaining community access for those traveling by foot and bicycle. Crews have begun installing and paving a new bicycle and pedestrian trail north of the existing bridge (around the staging area west of the existing bridge). The trail will allow people to continue to travel between downtown and all points north during the construction process.

Construction on the new Highway 61 bridge should begin later this fall. The contract to build the bridge was awarded to the Lunda/Ames team for its tied-arch bridge. If all goes according to schedule, permanent construction will begin this October, with all four lanes of the new bridge and associated roadways open to traffic by May 31, 2013.

The Lunda/Ames design-build team was one of three joint ventures competing for the contract. The other two joint venture teams were Flatiron/Kiewit and PCL/Kraemer.

As part of the bridge there will be a plaza underneath (on the south side).

The bid contract of about $120 million was well below Mn/DOT's budgeted amount of $220 million. All three joint venture teams submitted bids below the budged figure.

The Lunda Construction Co., founded in 1938, saw its largest growth starting in 1956 with the Interstate Highway Program. The heavy highway division deals primarily with bridge construction, pile driving, railroad bridges and miscellaneous concrete work.

Ames Construction Inc. began operations in 1960 in Burnsville. As one of the country's largest heavy civil and industrial design-build general contractors, it serves clients in many industries.

A new project hotline for the bridge project has been implemented: 651-775-5244.