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Hospital reports on construction worker who fell from bridge

LA CROSSE, Wis. — The construction worker injured Nov. 6 from a 45-foot fall into a cofferdam...

Pictured is the cofferdam that a construction worker fell into last week while working on a new Interstate 90 bridge near Dresbach. Cofferdams are used in bridge construction to pump water, and thereby expose the bottom of the body of water to permit construction.

LA CROSSE, Wis. — The construction worker injured Nov. 6 from a 45-foot fall into a cofferdam has been moved out of the intensive care unit at Gundersen Lutheran Health System.

He's also beginning to speak and walk again after weeks of uncertainty following emergency surgeries to treat life-threatening injuries.

After declining to release a condition update on 19-year-old Logan Goodell for weeks due to its confidentiality policy, Gundersen Lutheran said Monday that the Wheeler, Wis., native is now in good condition. The improvement has played out on Goodell's CaringBridge website -- a blog unaffiliated with the hospital -- which has almost 11,000 hits.

"You could really tell he had his personality back — we are all going to sleep better tonight," Megan Goodell, Logan's sister, recently wrote. "It's a great feeling talking to Logan and knowing he is still Loggie. He is ready for rehab and ready to start exercising his entire body. Like I said before, he is truly making tremendous progress every day. It's almost like he is resilient to every obstacle put in his way."

Goodell was transferred out of the ICU on Nov. 18, according to his sister's CaringBridge blog, and he's currently in Gundersen Lutheran's inpatient rehabilitation unit. Most medical tubing has been removed, though he's been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury that impacts short-term memory.


After weeks of bedrest, Goodell finally traversed 10 feet on Nov. 20 with the help of a walker. A picture was posted Nov. 21 so that he could "show everyone how good he stands and is walking," according to his sister.

Though doctor's have limited visitors in order to promote a calm environment, they agreed to let him watch the Packers play the Vikings on Sunday.

"You can really tell the improvements he makes each day," Megan Goodell wrote Saturday. "They keep him very busy throughout the day, with three hours of therapy every day. He has really good spirits about working hard and getting home."

Goodell was injured while working on the Dresbach Bridge, which is a 2,497-foot steel girder bridge on Interstate 90 at the Minnesota-Wisconsin border that carries four lanes of traffic. It is undergoing a $175 million to $225 million replacement project by Ames Construction, which did not return calls for comment.

It is the first "lost-time accident" incident on the construction site, said Mark Anderson, of MnDOT. However, construction has continued and will continue as able throughout the winter, according to MnDOT's Kristin Kammueller.

A spokesperson for the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the investigation into the incident that injured Goodell is ongoing and could take months to wrap up.

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