Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the 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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The landmark big blue iron bridge in Hastings will start looking a whole lot different next week. Beginning as early as Monday, crews will be dismantling the blue bridge and hauling it away.
Late Friday and early Saturday morning, two Hastings juveniles took a walk through downtown. They left a wake of vandalized property behind them. Their joy ride quickly came to an end -- by Saturday afternoon, both were identified by police. One was arrested and taken to the juvenile detention center. The other was referred to court. One is 15. The other is 14. Both will be facing felony level charges for criminal damage to property. The post office was hit the hardest, with swastikas spray painted on 15 of its vehicles.
On Aug. 1, Allina Health will assume full ownership of Regina Medical Center in Hastings. For almost 30 years, Regina Medical Center has built a close working relationship with Allina Health, according to a press release issued by Regina.
Beginning May 20, Highway 61 near Hastings will be reduced to a single lane in each direction through the intersection of Highway 10/Point Douglas Drive and Highway 61. The Highway 61/Highway 10 intersection will remain open and accessible. Construction work has been pushed back from Friday, May 17 to Monday, May 20. The lane restrictions will be in effect for about two weeks (May 20-31).
Just two months from now, one lane of traffic in each direction will be running on the new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings. Steve Kordosky, the project manager from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said this week that the bridge is right on schedule. He expects the shift to occur in late May or right around the first of June. Once traffic is routed onto the new bridge, work will begin immediately to demolish and remove the portion of the current bridge that is in downtown Hastings.
By Tuesday, the landscape in Hastings will be significantly altered for the next 100 years. The main span for the new Highway 61 bridge here is on schedule to be floated in place, jacked up and secured by the end of the day Monday, Sept. 24. That means the current bridge will close to traffic starting early Saturday morning, Sept. 22, and continuing through Monday. The timing of the move and lift has been delayed several times, but it does appear as though things are on schedule for this weekend.
There has been another change of plans for the Hastings bridge closure, which had been scheduled for this week. It looks as though the bridge will close during 48 to 72 hours sometime next week. When asked about the delay from last week's scheduled closure to this week's scheduled closure, MnDOT's Kirsten Klein said in an email that "the scale and magnitude of the process requires them to be very diligent and tedious with all of the checks they go through." In an email update sent out by MnDOT today, the delay was explained like this: "We've had to postpone the actual float-in again because
There has been a change of plans with the upcoming move of the main span for the new Hastings bridge. That change means there will be no closure of the Highway 61 bridge in Hastings this weekend. Here is the revised schedule for the project: Early Friday morning, Sept. 7, crews will roll the 545-foot main span out onto the river. During that time, boat traffic on the river will be shut down. The channel should reopen by Saturday afternoon or evening. The span will sit on two barges until it is ready to be floated down and lifted up. The earliest that will happen is Tuesday, Sept. 11.
There will be a 48-hour delay with the Hastings bridge project, it was learned late Thursday. The move will now begin Friday morning, Sept. 7, meaning the current Highway 61 bridge in Hastings will be closed starting Saturday and continuing until Monday. The bridge is expected to reopen sometime Monday, Sept. 10, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The 6.5 million pound main span will be floated out to the river on Friday, Sept. Sept. 7. On Saturday, Sept. 8, prep work will be done for the lift of the bridge. On Sunday, Sept. 9, the bridge will be lifted into place.
The Highway 61 bridge in Hastings will be closed in both directions when the main span for the new Hastings bridge is floated into place. The closure is expected to last around 48 hours, but the exact length of time isn't yet known. In addition, river traffic will not be allowed during the move. The public boat launch will be shut down, too. There is still no firm date for the move, but it is expected to take place just after Labor Day.