Here’s the release:
The Interstate 35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge is scheduled to open to public traffic during the week of September 15, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced today.
“Throughout the rebuilding process, we have kept the memories of the victims of last August’s bridge collapse in our thoughts and prayers,” said Mn/DOT Commissioner Tom Sorel. “This bridge has been built to the highest possible safety standards and is coming in ahead of schedule and on budget. We’re looking forward to seeing motorists using the new bridge next week.”
The bridge is expected to open to traffic as early as Tuesday, September 16, 2008. A news conference with Governor Tim Pawlenty and other officials will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, September 15, at the bridge to announce the specific opening time and other details.
Construction on the new I-35W Bridge began on November 1, 2007 and crews have worked around the clock since then. The project has employed extensive safety and quality inspection programs to ensure that the finished bridge will be high quality, safe and last for at least 100 years. During the final week of construction, work crews will continue:
Installing and testing anti-icing and smart bridge systems
Finishing and striping the bridge deck
Installing roadway signs
Landscaping areas along the corridor
Installing and testing traffic signals and lights
Cleaning up the site
“I-35W in Minneapolis is a major transportation artery for the Twin Cities and entire state. Each day this bridge has been closed it has cost road users more than $400,000,” Commissioner Sorel said.
“Area residents, business owners, motorists, workers and countless others have been affected by this corridor’s closure. The opening of this bridge reconnects our community.”