Frederick Gottemoeller - Bridgescape LLC

Bridges Speak To Us

U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River

U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River

Hastings, MN

The bridge carries four lanes of traffic and a 12 ft. wide shared use path connecting to previously existing trails on both sides of the river. At the south end of the bridge U.S. 61 crosses over the town's historic commercial street, 2nd Avenue. It is still a center of business activity and hosts weekly historic car rallies in the summer. Because of its history the town is included in the Mississippi National River and Recreational Area.

The Community Advisory Committee's goals for the project were:

  • Create a bridge that is nationally significant, an icon for the city and an effective, efficient river crossing.
  • Create 21st century bridge, but recall elements of past; the bridge should be integrated with and informed by the historic context of Hastings, but not mimic or literally imitate historic elements.
  • Give the bridge an identity that connects with Hastings and the Hastings area.
  • Identify transitions, gateways, entrances to Hastings and to the National River and Recreational Area.
  • Incorporate the above ideas into enhancements of the streetscapes of US 61 and Second Ave.

These concepts were embodied in the VQM in drawings and text. The design concepts and requirements included a landmark 600' main span over the river, to be either an arch or single-tower cable stayed bridge, and a minimal-depth concrete span over 2nd Avenue that would enhance it's continued role as a commercial street. The requirements also included an art installation on the 2nd Avenue abutment and an aesthetic lighting plan.

The winning structural concept is a 600 ft. tied arch span. Post-tensioned concrete with a structural steel core is used for the tie girders because its internal redundancy eliminates the possibility of sudden failure. The main span was constructed off-site with only the steel cores of the tie girders. It was floated into place and then the concrete portions of the tie girders and the roadway deck were added.

Mr. Gottemoeller's assisted in the development of the preliminary design concepts, developed the Visual Quality Manual and led the interaction with the Community Advisory Committee.

  • Length: 1944 ft.
  • Width: 92 ft.
  • Main Span: 545 ft. Longest unbraced tied arch in North America
  • Bridge Cost: $110,000,000
  • Year of Completion: 2014
  • Preliminary Design Engineer: CH2MHill, Inc.
  • Final Design Engineer: Parsons Group
  • Owner: Minnesota Department of Transportation

Photo Credits: Fred Gottemoeller, Dale Thomas