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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

Main span of new bridge nears completion

Gaps in the new Interstate 35W Bridge to close soon

Less than a year after the I-35W Bridge collapsed, the new bridge’s main span is nearly complete.

There is currently about seven feet between the two ends of the bridge, and final segments of the southbound portion of the bridge are expected to be in place by the end of the week, project spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said.

Construction workers actually walked across the bridge last weekend when final segments were in place on the northbound side. There are a total of 120 segments.

Once segments are in place, crews can complete the main span with “closure pours,” which involve using a jack to pull apart the two sides of the bridge and pouring concrete into the gap, Gutknecht said.

One closure pour is scheduled for this week on the northbound side and the other next week on the southbound side. Both sides are actually two separate bridges.

Once the main span is complete, crews can install the bridge’s finer features, such as an anti-icing system, lighting and electronic devices, Gutknecht said.

“A lot of the work that you’re going to see now may not be as visual as what we have seen,” Gutknecht said. “It’s pretty hard to top lifting 150-ton pieces of concrete high in the air.”

Crews have already begun paving and painting the new bridge.

Although Flatiron Construction was contracted to complete the bridge by Dec. 24, 2008, it’s expected to be done between mid-September and mid-October .

The $234 million contract includes an extra $200,000 for each day early the bridge is completed. Flatiron could receive $27 million in incentives if it finishes 100 days early, on Sept. 15.

Gutknecht said that’s still a possibility.

The absence of the I-35W river crossing costs about $400,000 per day, according to a Minnesota Department of Transportation study.

University finance senior Shashanka Muppaneni was watching construction crews from the 10th Avenue bridge last Thursday when he said it seems like they’re trying to get it done right, not just fast.

However, he welcomes anything that will make his drive to the University easier during his last semester.

“It should cut a good amount of time off my commute,” Muppaneni said of the possibility that the bridge could be completed early this fall.

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