Hwy 61 Hastings Bridge
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About this project

Building the new Hastings Bridge

The new Hastings Bridge will be a 21st century landmark to be trusted and enjoyed by current and future generations. With a 100-year life span, the new bridge will enhance mobility and safety for both the community and the region, and become part of Hastings’ identity. After the Minnesota Legislature passed the 2008 Transportation Funding Package, MnDOT was able to accelerate delivering the project by almost five years. In order to deliver this major project under an accelerated schedule, a competitive contracting process called “design-build best value” was utilized. Three design-build teams qualified to submit proposals and on June 30, 2010 the contract was awarded to the joint venture Lunda/Ames. You can learn more at MnDOT’s design-build website.


Keeping the Community Moving During Construction

As construction proceeds, there are key elements of the project that travelers, residents, businesses and visitors should know. 


Check out our frequently asked questions for more details.



Providing an enhanced experience for travelers and visitors

Following are some of the features of the new bridge that will be enjoyed by those living, working and traveling through the community.


Visual quality

Structurally, this bridge is a highly redundant and robust structure with a 100-year life span. What makes it a landmark are the visual elements, including overall design, lighting, color, public art, railings and public areas near the bridge. Over the course of this project, a Visual Quality Team (VQT) will ensure the bridge’s design maintains compatibility and integrity between its natural surroundings and Historic Downtown Hastings. Download the most recent Visual Quality Presentation (PDF).

The VQT is led by nationally recognized architect Bradley Touchstone and consists of project staff, representatives from local, state and county government, as well as representatives from the local community. As the new bridge’s design details evolve, they will be highlighted in reports and presentations from the Visual Quality Team.
Some of the key design features include:


Public involvement

MnDOT sought public feedback throughout the project’s planning process and continues to seek feedback throughout the project. Project staff will be in the community at formal and informal events. To be notified of event times and locations, sign up for automatic email updates. Comments, concerns and general questions can also be e-mailed to HastingsBridge.DOT@state.mn.us, or called into the project hotline at 651-775-5244.



Project background
Why this project? Why now?
The existing Highway 61 Bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Hastings was built in 1950 to replace the historic spiral bridge. This two-lane bridge’s average daily traffic exceeds 30,000 vehicles. While the existing bridge is safe, it has become functionally obsolete. (The roadway is not wide enough and the clearance is not high enough for today’s traffic.) Also, a mandated annual safety inspection reduces traffic across the bridge to a single lane of flagger-controlled traffic for about seven days each year, further reducing its functionality.

Project accelerated
The Hwy 61 Hastings Bridge replacement was originally planned to be “let,” or put out for bids, in 2015. In 2008 the Minnesota legislature passed transportation funding that enabled MnDOT to accelerate the project to begin in 2010.
For more information on the steps involved in taking a road construction project from concept to completion, go to http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roadconstruction/ittakestime/.

Public involvement
After funding was secured, MnDOT held open houses throughout the project’s planning process in an effort to seek public input on a preferred bridge alternative, and on how to deliver a world class project while minimizing any potential affect to local businesses and traffic. Between May 2008 and June 2009, six open houses were held.

Findings of fact and conclusions (PDFs)
Finding of Fact and Conclusions

Appendix A - Agency Comments and MnDOT Responses
Appendix B - Public Comments and MnDOT Responses
Appendix C - Graphic Figures
Appendices D-F - Additional Documentation
Appendix G - Final Section 4(f)


Complete Finding of Fact and Conclusion Document - 70 MB

Environmental Assessment (PDFs)
Environmental Assessment - 10.7MB

Appendix 1 Figures
Figures 3-7 - 16.2 MB
Figures 8-11 - 16.2 MB
Figures 12a-14b - 16.2 MB
Figures 15-19 - 16.2 MB
Figures 20a-23 - 16.2 MB
Figures 24-26 - 16.2 MB
Figures 27-29 - 16.2 MB
Figures 30-32 - 16.2 MB

Appendix 2 - 2.9 MB
Draft Section 4- 2.5 MB

Full Environmental Assessment - 79 MB

Other Documents
Scoping Study
Traffic Modeling Report