Long-delayed Wakota Bridge project making progress, legislators told

Legislators were told today that the much-delayed Wakota Bridge project over the Mississippi River in South St. Paul is moving along well and the eastbound span should now be open in July 2010, three months earlier than first thought.

Of course, the whole project was supposed to be finished last year but was stopped in 2004, when stress cracks developed in the westbound span because of a design error. The design firm has settled with the state for $20 million.

Work now under way includes a pier in the river that’s nearly complete, which will  be followed by a year’s worth of construction on the superstructure.

MnDOT officials also told the House Commerce and Labor Committee that expansion of I-494 to three lanes from the Wakota Bridge to Interstate 94 will be moved up to coincide with the eastbound span’s opening. It was initially planned for fall 2011.

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