All signs are currently pointing to the Main Span float-in proceeding next week. At this time, Project leaders expect to begin moving the nearly 7-million-pound, 545-foot-long tied-arch Main Span on to barges in the river next Friday, Sept. 8.
As with the entire process, this initial movement is likely to take some time and may be best viewed via webcams and video that will be available on the Project’s website (www.dot.state.mn.us/hastingsbridge).
More detail about the float-in process appears below. Motorists, boaters, pedestrians and cyclists should be aware of the following:
On Thursday, Sept. 6:
Lock and Dam Road near downtown Hastings will close at the entrance to Jaycee Park starting at noon. Access to and parking at Jaycee Park will remain available.
The pedestrian and bicycle path between Lock and Dam No. 2 and downtown Hastings also will close at noon.
On Friday, Sept. 7:
The boat launch at the park also will close at 6 a.m.
All through river traffic between Lock and Dam No. 2 and the CP Rail bridge east of downtown will be suspended.
On Saturday, Sept. 8:
Motorists traveling through the area will encounter a closure of Highway 61 at the Mississippi River starting at 8:00 a.m. The highway will remain closed for up to 72 hours. Motorists travelling through the Hasting area should follow the signed detour using I-494, Highway 52 and Highway 55.
Access to downtown businesses and residences will remain open during the entire float-in process.
Here is the process for floating in the Main Span:
Step 1: The Main Span is lifted from its shoring towers (which are then removed). Self-propelled modular transports (SPMTs) will be used to guide the Main Span down to the river where barges will be waiting.
Step 2: The river navigation channel is closed and the Main Span is moved onto to two large barges (72′x260′x16′). Water is pumped in and out of barges to maintain a level surface.
Step 3: Tug boats move the Main Span away from shore.
Step 4: The Main Span is moved out of the navigation channel.
Step 5: The Main Span is moved down river to the bridge site.
Step 6: The Main Span is aligned with a skid system that will be used to move the span into place between Piers 5 and 6.
Step 7: The Main Span will be lifted using hydraulic strand jacks mounted on the top of Piers 5 and 6.
Step 8: The Main Span is secured in place. The channel is re-opened.
Later, crews will work on completing the concrete knuckles and tie girders and post-tensioning the Main Span. The deck for the roadway also will be poured.