Cultural Resources opens Mississippi River Bridge!
July 12, 2019
Okay, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz actually opened the bridge. But Mead & Hunt Cultural Resources staff joined in the grand opening and ribbon cutting. The rehabilitated historic Winona, Minnesota, Mississippi River Bridge 5900 opened Monday, July 1.
Both the historic bridge rehabilitation and a parallel new river span have been Mead & Hunt projects for the Minnesota DOT since planning began in 2009. I’ve been on the project from the beginning, joined recently by fellow historian Sebastian Renfield. We are both based out of our Minneapolis office.
The 1942 historic cantilever through-truss span received a complete rehabilitation, in large part because it is a fracture-critical span. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Mead & Hunt Cultural Resources team worked with MnDOT engineers to develop plans in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
Mead & Hunt staff also provided guidance in the design of the new parallel bridge, which opened in 2016. The parallel bridge allowed the historic span to be closed for extensive repairs, including replacement of all 21 approach spans.
Since 2016, Mead & Hunt Cultural Resources staff and MnDOT have conducted on-site construction monitoring to handle the inevitable construction questions about historical design details.
Working with MnDOT on this extensive project has greatly strengthened our client relationship and our ties to the community. The historians working on this project live in Minnesota, myself included. It is extremely rewarding to get the chance to give back to our state. This historic bridge is now ready to continue serving the city of Winona for years to come.
Bob Frame sees history in our everyday industrial buildings and landscape. Specializing in industrial and engineering history, Bob has spent his career learning about bridges, grain elevators and flour mills. “It is often the technical details that reveal the most interesting story and lead us to understand the importance of these resources,” he says.
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