Minneapolis' New I-35 Bridge Nearly Completed, DOT Says
The new I-35 highway bridge in Minneapolis is being built carefully, safely, and beautifully, and it has nearly been completed, DOT Deputy Secretary Thomas. J Barrett observed when he toured the construction site last week. Barrett wrote about the experience on DOT's "Fast Lanes" blog.
"It's come a long way in a short time, and the people of Minnesota should be very proud of the hard work that has gone into it," Barrett wrote. "Since the tragedy that took 13 lives on August 1, 2007, Secretary Peters and I have remained focused on providing the support Minneapolis needs to rebuild the state's busiest bridge. From fully funding the clean-up and rebuild, to providing the technical support and guidance that MnDOT needs, the U.S. DOT is only too happy to help rebuild this vital connection."
Barrett said his visit began with an operations and safety briefing. When he climbed onto the deck of the bridge, he said, "It was an incredible view, and one few of us thought would be possible in so short a time. Construction only began nine months ago -- most projects of this size take far longer to get to this point. The effort expended in this bridge is nothing short of heroic."
His post thanks the bridge engineers, riggers, iron workers, welders, and quality assurance personnel from MnDOT and FHWA for making the replacement bridge come together "very efficiently, very nicely and -- best of all -- very safely."
"We will never forget the tragedy that claimed the 13 lives last August but when it opens to traffic later this year -- ahead of schedule, by all accounts -- the I-35W Bridge will again be a crown jewel for the people of Minnesota," he wrote.