Workers began the process of moving heavy equipment to Milan Bridge on Monday in order to begin dismantling the 80-year old span.
Workers began the process of moving heavy equipment to Milan Bridge on Monday in order to begin dismantling the 80-year old span. The steel truss bridge will be replaced with a wider and longer concrete structure.
Milan Bridge was built in 1939 as part of a Works Progress Administration flood control project. Many long-time area families had family members who worked on WPA projects as the country rebuilt itself after the Great Depression.
The new bridge will accommodate the passage of larger, modern farm equipment. Also, seven feet wide sidewalks will parallel the 34 foot wide roadway across the bridge and allow for safe fishing and pedestrian traffic on both sides of the bridge.
The total length of the new bridge will be 160 feet; the old bridge was 140 feet long. In addition, the deck of the new bridge will be one foot higher than that of the old bridge.
Traffic along Highway 40 will be detoured for the duration of the project, and motorists are encouraged to follow the detour signs while the bridge is under construction. The Highway 40 detour will take motorists south of Watson on Highway 7/59, then west on Chippewa County Road 14, and Lac qui Parle County Roads 20, 31, and 33.
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