Fixing the 1942 Winona Bridge is the ultimate DIY project | Local … – Post-Bulletin

August 28, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

WINONA — Bob Vila never faced a do-it-yourself project like this.

WIth the opening of the new Minnesota Highway 43 bridge in Winona today, the old bridge, built in 1942, will undergo a major rehabilitation. Work will start this fall and continue through fall 2019, according to Beth Burton, the Minnesota Department of Transportation project engineer overseeing the rehab project.

The rehabilitation will extend the design life of the through-truss section of the bridge by 50 years. The deck-truss section and approach spans, the design of which MnDOT will determine in spring 2017, will have a 75-year design life. Terry Ward, project manager with MnDOT, said the design extension for the through-truss portion could allow for further rehabilitation and extend the design life.

So, what does a DIY project look like when the fixer-upper is an interstate bridge over the Mississippi River instead of a turn-of-the-centuryVictorian? Here are the basic steps MnDOT will take to rehabilitate the 1942 Winona Bridge:

• In early December, close the bridge to traffic, add a safe span and lead paint contamination system to the through-truss section of the bridge. The safe span is a walkway underneath the deck that allows workers access to the bridge. The contamination system consists of enclosing the through-truss portion of the bridge in tarps and creating a negative air pressure environment to contain paint, steel and concrete particles so they do not pollute the river or nearby ground.

• Starting in spring 2017 on the through-truss section, remove the concrete deck of the bridge — the roadway — and replace it with a temporary deck made of treated wood panels.

• Sandblast structure to remove lead paint.

• Conduct detailed repairs along the through-truss sections. Those repairs include strengthening the floor beam connections on the structure by rehabilitating existing supports, rehabilitating the through-truss system over the bridge and adding internal redundancy systems so the bridge meets all current state and federal highway bridge standards.

• Install new concrete deck for the through-truss section and paint bridge components.

• Starting in spring 2017, demolish approach spans — to maintain access, this will occur one approach at a time — starting with the south (Winona) side of the bridge.

• Construct the new south approach spans to the through truss either in the full historical rebuild or to match the new bridge opened today.

• With the new south approach finished, demolish the north (Latsch Island) approach spans.

• Construct the new north approach spans to the through truss.

• Finish the plaza area under the Winona approach spans, This work is separate from the MnDOT work on the bridge.

• Fall 2019: Open the new bridge.