Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 61 Hastings Bridge


Orange barrels on a highway

Hwy 61 Hastings Bridge FAQS

Will people still be able to access Hastings’ businesses and nearby marinas?
Yes. The Contractor has put a number of planning elements in place to minimize the disruptions to local businesses. While there will be some disruptions, the contractor’s commitment to a “get-in-get-out” approach is intended to reduce the impact to properties. In addition, more parking will be provided than currently exists to accommodate visitors to the Historic Downtown.

Will there be a long-term closure of Hwy 61 due to construction of a new bridge?
No. There was a weekend closure in Sept. 2012 to float and lift the Main Span. Hwy 61 will remain open for the duration of the Project,

Will there ever be a single-lane of traffic?
Yes, there will be a single-lane of traffic when MnDOT completes its annual inspection of the existing bridge and occasional off-peak lane closures to accommodate construction.

What happens to the existing bridge once the new bridge is open?
The existing bridge will be removed once the new bridge is open to traffic.

What are the highlights of the new Hastings Bridge?

  • Innovative design, using a free-standing arch main span
  • Longest free-standing arch rib in North America
  • Four lanes of traffic (two northbound and two southbound lanes) remove current bottleneck
  • A 12-foot-wide common use pedestrian/bike path from 4th Street to the North Loop
  • A Plaza Area south of 2nd Street
  • Parking directly beneath the bridge between 2nd Street and the Mississippi River
  • A new North Loop contributes to safety by eliminating an at-grade, high-speed median crossover from northbound Highway 61 into local businesses; it also will allow southbound pedestrians safe access to the local trail system
    100-year bridge life


What are the key features of the structural design?

  • Free-standing arch bridge
  • Main span: 545-foot tied arch
    • Free-standing, trapezoidal vertical steel arch ribs
    • Post-tensioned concrete knuckles and tie girders
  • South approach segment: two side-by-side bridges
    • Solid cast-in-place concrete
    • Arched soffit over 2nd street
  • North approach segment: pre-cast concrete girder
  • Highly redundant
  • Enhanced structural concrete

How much will the Hastings Bridge Project cost?
The Lunda/Ames Joint Venture has projected the construction contract cost at $120 million.

Where will the new bridge be in relation to the existing bridge?
The new bridge will be west of the existing bridge.


What has MnDOT done in preparation for the Hastings Bridge Project?
A Traffic Forecasting Study was completed in March 2008. It helped further define the purpose and need of the Hastings Bridge Project. Results showed that the river crossing will need to be four lanes (two in each direction) and constructed without a long-term closure of the existing bridge.

The Bridge Scoping Study was completed in December 2008. The study assessed the feasibility of various bridge types including an option that would rehabilitate the existing structure.


Who is in charge of the new bridge’s construction?
MnDOT is the entity responsible for oversight and management of the bridge’s construction. MnDOT works closely with the Contractor – the Lunda/Ames Joint Venture – and its subcontractors.

Once the bridge is built, who is responsible for maintenance?
MnDOT will retain primary responsibility for the maintenance of the new bridge. The City of Hastings will be responsible for the maintenance of all aesthetic improvements.

Will the public have an opportunity to provide input?
Yes. There have already been a number of opportunities for community members to provide input. There will be additional opportunities throughout the course of the project, including open houses, events in Hastings and tours near the site to view construction. To get notice of project events sent directly to your inbox, sign up for automatic e-mail updates.