The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) began work last Monday, March 16 to replace the bridge located on Highway 29 over North Parkway Drive here in Montevideo. In the meantime, a detour will be in place, spanning from the inner section of Highway 7 and Chippewa County 15. It runs south to Chippewa County 16 where it joins up with Highway 212.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) began work last Monday, March 16 to replace the bridge located on Highway 29 over North Parkway Drive here in Montevideo. In the meantime, a detour will be in place, spanning from the inner section of Highway 7 and Chippewa County 15. It runs south to Chippewa County 16 where it joins up with Highway 212.

MnDOT representatives were available to answer any questions the community had at a meeting at the community center last Thursday.

“First thing is putting up the detour, then closing the road and taking down the existing bridge,” said Paul Rasmussen, the project manager. “Then it’s prepping the foundation, dry the piling in for the abutments, build the abutments, and once those are built we’ll set beams.”

According to Rasmussen, once the beams are set they will then build the deck, followed by the railings, do the grading, put in pavement and then the project is finished.

The bridges currently in Montevideo were built in 1959.

“I saw some layouts that they had through here when they built the beltline. There were two channels, and with all the work they did when they built that and built the dam at the same time was kind of neat to see because there were little bridges over the channels and once they were changed around they haven’t been the same since,” Rasmussen said. “It’s kind of amazing how big that change really was when they did that.”

The new bridge will be very similar, with slight differences that make it more updated by building and safety standards.

“There are differences just based on how we build bridges now versus the way we used to, but essentially it’s the same thing, two abutments and beams across with a deck on top,” he said.

Rasmussen states that the detour in place has been used before many times for different construction projects. He also said there has been talk of replacing other bridges in town, but nothing has been planned out yet.

“These will be state bridges and at this time we’ve done some talking, I’m sure they’re coming up it’s just a matter of when. They do get inspected every two years or so, we keep a pretty good eye on their progression.”

The project, at this point in time, is expected to be finished by June.

“I think our current estimate is either June 10th or 12th,” said Rasmussen.