I-35W bridge: Closing the gap

  • Updated: July 2, 2008 - 1:35 PM
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The new Interstate 35W bridge is practically leaping across the Mississippi River these days

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

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The new Interstate 35W bridge is practically leaping across the Mississippi River these days -- by the end of the week, the gap over the middle of the river could be just 7 feet.

The new bridge is actually made up of two bridges -- one for northbound traffic, one for southbound -- and each bridge consists of two concrete girders called box girders.

The girders, which will jut a couple of hundred feet out over the river before they're joined in the middle, are made up of concrete segments held together with steel rods, cables and pressure.

Kevin Gutknecht from the Minnesota Department of Transportation showed visitors around the inside of one of the girders that make up the northbound lanes.

Gutknecht said the final northbound segments could be hoisted into place by Saturday morning. Sometime next week, the gap would be filled with concrete.

The bridge is on track to open to traffic in September.

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