Look out: Bridge on the move

  • Article by: JIM FOTI , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 25, 2008 - 11:20 PM

The first of 120 precast hunks of the new I-35W bridge was moved to the Mississippi River. Can you guess how much it weighs?

The first precast segment of the I-35W bridge made its way down West River Parkway on Friday. Workers moved wires out of the way as the 198-ton piece of a concrete box girder was carefully moved down the road to Bohemian Flats.

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The "oversize load" sign was something of an understatement.

A 198-ton piece of the new Interstate 35W bridge ambled down West River Parkway on Friday, becoming the first of 120 concrete segments to ride from the casting yard in the Seven Corners area down to Bohemian Flats.

The segments will receive some finishing work during their stay at the flats, including power-washing, said Kevin Gutknecht, a Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman. Then, as summer approaches, they'll be taken by barge up to the site and lifted into place by a floating crane.

The segments will be strung together with miles of steel cables to form a continuous 500-foot box girder over the Mississippi River.

The first segment's half-mile road trip Friday morning prompted dozens of office workers to peek out windows or step outside for a look. Two chains and two yellow straps held the 25-foot-tall segment in place on a 64-wheel flatbed trailer, and it just barely made it under some power lines.

Steel plates have been placed on sections of 13th Avenue S. to protect underground utilities from the weight, Gutknecht said.

The segment had a spray-painted code inside -- 2 SB1 EXT -- and an arrow. The code meant that the segment was for the outside southbound lanes and would be connected to Pier 2, on the river's downtown side. The arrow points toward the middle of the river.

Segment hauling will continue from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week for up to five weeks. Two blocks of 13th Avenue near the Red Cross building will be closed for several minutes whenever a segment comes through.

Crews are eager to get the segments moved off the old 35W roadbed so it can be rebuilt, Gutknecht said, adding that the bridge is on track to open on or before Dec. 24.

Jim Foti • 612-673-4491

  • related content

  • Graphic: Bridge segments

    Friday May 2, 2008

    The section of the new I-35W Bridge that will be directly over the Mississippi River...

  • After long wait, state has relief for 35W victims

    Friday May 2, 2008

    The fund caps claims at $400,000 but provides more for extraordinary losses.

  • A look back: The I-35W bridge collapse

    Monday July 30, 2012

    Thirteen people died and hundreds of lives were changed the day the I-35W bridge fell. Hear the many stories of survival as part of our interactive presentation that shows where...

  • The bridge segments will be stored at Bohemian Flats.

  • IF YOU GO Project officials give "Sidewalk Superintendent" tours of the Interstate 35W bridge construction zone every Saturday at 11 a.m. Tours start in front of Grandma's Saloon and go out onto the 10th Avenue Bridge.
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close