Eastbound Wakota Bridge span opensAlmost three years later than expected, the eastbound span of the Wakota Bridge opened to traffic Thursday.
By: Jon Avise, Woodbury Bulletin
Almost three years later than expected, the eastbound span of the Wakota Bridge opened to traffic Thursday.
The bridge, part of a $300 million project, will carry roughly 90,000 vehicles per day over the Mississippi River between Newport and South St. Paul.
Construction began in 2002, and stalled in 2004 when stress cracks were discovered in concrete on the westbound span during construction. MnDOT elected to re-bid the project, a decision that stopped construction for more than a year and drew the ire of area legislators and Newport city officials.
Newport leaders have said the drawn-out project has stunted redevelopment efforts in the city and harmed the city's roadside businesses along Highway 61.
A grand opening of the new span is scheduled late this month.
For more information on the project go to http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/wakota/.