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New Winona bridge will open Aug. 27

The scope of work on the Winona Bridge project consists of new Bridge No. 85851 and rehabilitation and reconstruction of the existing Bridge No. 5900 to provide a long-term four-lane Mississippi River crossing for Winona and the trade region.

WINONA — With traffic ready to roll across the new span, the city of Winona and the Minnesota Department of Transportation will celebrate the opening of the new Winona bridge beginning at 10 a.m. on Aug. 27.

The celebration, including music, speeches and a chance to walk the bridge before it is officially opened for traffic later in the day, will mark the completion of the new two-lane bridge, said Winona Mayor Mark Peterson.

A ribbon cutting will take place, and there will be a display of the time capsule that will later be placed inside the new bridge, Peterson said.

The party will also mark the countdown to work on the historic span within four to six weeks, said Terry Ward, project supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

MnDOT originally estimated the bridge would be completed between Labor Day and November. The Aug. 27 opening of the bridge beats MnDOT's best estimate by a week.


"One of the goals was to build the bridges as quickly and efficiently as possible, and so far we've accomplished that," Ward said.

Good weather and hard work by the contractors can be credited with the early completion of the span, Ward said.

Traffic on the bridge will initially flow into Winona only with outbound traffic on the old span. That will continue until late September or early October while MnDOT works on the intersections approaching the bridge. Once that work is completed, both in and outbound traffic will be carried on the new bridge while work begins on the historic bridge, Ward said.

"We could start as early as early October," Ward said. "What we call work package five includes the existing bridge's through-truss rehabilitation and removal of the approach spans."

By next spring, MnDOT will have decided whether to do a historical rebuild of the approach spans or rebuild them in the modern design similar to the new bridge, he said.

The Aug. 27 ceremony will be at the foot of the bridge at Fourth and Winona streets.

"I think it's an exciting time for Winona," Peterson said. "We only build a new bridge in Winona every 75 years, so it's important we celebrate that. It'll be even more exciting when the whole project is done."

That date will come in the fall of 2019 when the rehabilitation work, approach spans and site work is completed for the pair of bridges, Ward said.


"That will be just another excuse to celebrate again," Peterson said.

Terry Ward

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