Interchange along 280 to be reworked
- August 14, 2007 - 9:50 PM
The Hennepin/Larpenteur interchange along Hwy. 280 will be getting a fast makeover this weekend.
The interchange, now a very tight cloverleaf, will be converted to a diamond-shaped interchange. The loop ramps will be closed, the other four ramps straightened a bit, and traffic signals installed on Hennepin and Larpenteur to allow vehicles to make left turns to and from the ramps. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is trying to improve traffic flow on 280, the main detour around the Interstate 35W bridge collapse.
The ramps will be closed this weekend while the work is performed. If construction goes as planned, the reconfigured interchange will reopen at 5 a.m. Monday.
Little contamination seen after collapse
Air- and water-quality tests have not turned up significant contaminants from the bridge collapse, but samples from monitoring stations continue to be collected and tested.
Fuel that might drift downstream has been diluted and has evaporated in the warm weather. The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and state and federal pollution agencies are involved in the testing, and results are being posted on the city of Minneapolis website.
Drinking water intakes for Minneapolis and St. Paul, and for several other communities connected to those cities' systems, won't be affected because the intakes are upstream from the collapse site.
Law firm seeks access to collapse site
The U.S. attorney's office said Tuesday the request from a Minneapolis personal injury law firm for access to the collapse site could hamper efforts to recover the remaining bodies from the Mississippi.
Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben filed the petition Monday, seeking access by its investigators to the site no later than Tuesday to gather information for potential wrongful death and injury lawsuits. A hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. today in St. Paul.
The U.S. attorney's office intends to file a formal response this morning, but issued a statement.
"There will be ample time for a full investigation of the causes of the collapse after all the victims are accounted for," it said. "As a purely legal matter, our position is that federal jurisdiction over the petition does not exist at this time."
The Minneapolis law firm filed the petition on behalf of three people who were injured and the families of two people who died.
City offers partial access to bicycle bridge
Saying it wants to give the public a chance to pay their respects to victims of the collapse, the city of Minneapolis will open one end of a bicycle and pedestrian bridge downstream from the site.
The bridge, known as Bridge 9 or the Dinkytown Bicycle Connection, will be open on the west end only. A city news release said police will monitor the area and may limit access to the bridge for safety reasons.
The city said it hopes to have the entire bridge open by the time classes start at the University of Minnesota in September.
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