Orange barrels on a highway
News Release
September 27 2012



Office of Communications
395 John Ireland Blvd
Mail Stop 150
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899


Search statewide news





Hastings Bridge span floated, lifted into place

St. Paul, Minn. – The main span for the new Highway 61 Mississippi River bridge in Hastings, Minn. is secured in place. Last weekend, crews successfully floated the span down the river and lifted it into position. This bridge span is the longest tied arch span in North America.

A 60-hour window was allowed for the effort, and the planning paid off. "It went extremely well, given the complexity," said Bernie Arseneau, deputy commissioner and chief engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The 6.5 million-pound bridge was moved from its construction site on a flotilla of six barges, assisted by four tugs. The "lift" -- accomplished with a hydraulic jack system that raised it 50 feet -- "came off without a hitch," he said.

MnDOT has gathered time-lapse video showing the entire process – including the move onto barges, the float down the river and the lifting into place. The video can be accessed at or on the project website at