Hastings Bridge Repairs Won't Cost Minn. Taxpayers

Updated: 03/28/2014 6:42 PM KSTP.com By: Beth McDonough

Photo: KSTP-TV
Photo: KSTP-TV

Photo: KSTP-TV
Photo: KSTP-TV

The concrete surface of the Hastings Bridge railing is starting to flake or scale, but the Minnesota Department of Transportation says it’s nothing to worry about.

MnDOT says the issue is simply a cosmetic one. “It’s not visually appealing, but the bridge is safe. We’ve conducted visual inspections and taken core samples which are at a laboratory to determine what caused the scaling,” said Hastings Bridge project manager Steve Kordosky.

The recently completed bridge carries Highway 61 across the Mississippi River on the north side of Hastings, Minn.

The $130 million bridge is under a three year "bumper-to-bumper" warranty.  

Lunda Construction of Wisconsin poured the concrete for the northern part of the bridge, which was done first.  Ames Construction of Burnsville poured the southern half. Since it was such a big and lengthy project, the two companies worked together. 

The bridge was expected to have a 100 year lifespan, yet within months, it already needs repairs. 

MnDOT is working with the contractors doing testing to figure out why it happened. They are looking to see if the material or curing process were flawed, or if the weather played a role. 

Once that's determined a fix will be chosen. "There's products we can coat it with if the concrete is sound or the other option is to remove and replace," according to Doyle Honstad, a project manager with Lunda.

"The cost of repairs will be on the contractors dollar, not Minnesotans," Kordosky said.

Contractors will fix the problem this summer.