Replacement bridge design unveiled

On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation released details of the $234 million design and construction proposal for the I-35W replacement bridge. The design proposal by Flatiron Constructors and its team of subcontractors is called “Arches, Water, Reflection.”

Flatiron says it will have the bridge completed by the end of 2008.

“In addition to designing the best and safest bridge, we want to create a bridge that reflects the values of this community,” said Linda Figg, president and Director of Bridge Art for Figg, the lead designer on the I-35W bridge project.

The proposed replacement will feature a memorial to the 13 people who died after the I-35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River Aug. 1.

The concrete replacement bridge will have 504-foot main spans including a sensor and monitoring system to detect indications of potential failure, 70-foot piers, LED lighting, railings allowing views of the river and observation decks.

Flatiron had the highest of the bids submitted to MnDOT and also said it would take the longest to complete the process, triggering complaints from other bidders. MnDOT rejected those protests yesterday before unveiling renderings of the proposed replacement.

Figg and others said the team building the bridge will seek public input on refinements to the design of the structure it hopes to start work on by Nov. 1. That’s when Flatiron will begin casting parts of the bridge at a location in St. Paul.

“We’re focused on getting subcontractors and other details in place so we can promptly begin construction and have travelers back on a bridge by the end of 2008,” Flatiron project manager Peter Sanderson said in a prepared statement. “Flatiron and Figg have a long history of working together and we’ve structured our team in a way that will keep the project on schedule and on budget.”

You can get more information at MnDOT’s website.