Mn/Dot’s Dresbach, Winona bridges win national awards


Two Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) bridges across the Mississippi River have received national awards of excellence.

The American Segmental Bridge Institute named both the Interstate 90 Dresbach bridge and the new Highway 43 Winona bridge as winners of its 2017 ASBI Bridge Award of Excellence. These two bridges were two of eight recipients for segmental bridges designed and built in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

During the Dresbach bridge review, the selection committee commented: “This bridge’s structural elements provide aesthetically pleasing shapes and forms with the capacity to deliver a record-setting concrete span over a major waterway for its owner. It is a world-class Mississippi River crossing bridge, inclusive of innovative approaches to design, materials, and rapid construction. The twin wall piers were nicely integrated in harmony with the Mississippi River crossing.”

During the Winona bridge review, the selection committee commented: “This project demonstrated how combining concrete segmental bridge design with innovated project delivery can result in reduced construction costs and time without sacrificing bridge quality and aesthetics. The bridge has a graceful, haunched superstructure with elegant twin wall piers and aesthetic scenic outlooks. An amazing feat of engineering, considering the winter construction. Nice form and function with overlooks that blend with the environment.”

Additionally, the Winona bridge received a 2017 Excellence in Concrete Construction second place award in infrastructure from the American Concrete Institute, and the Dresbach bridge also was named as one of Roads & Bridges TOP 10 Bridges from across the country, coming in at number nine. Mn/DOT partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on the Dresbach bridge project.

“Each of these projects are the result of hard work from a number of skilled people both on our Mn/DOT teams as well as our project partners, namely the Figg Bridge Engineers and Ames Construction teams who worked on both of them,” said Terry Ward, Mn/DOT project manager, who also worked on both projects. “The projects were successful because of these people. This is a nice recognition of their work.”

The Dresbach bridge was completed in November 2016 with a new crossing near La Crescent, Minn., and La Crosse, Wis., along with connecting ramps to highways 61 and 14 and the Minnesota Welcome Center, Lock and Dam No. 7 and fishing accesses.

The new Winona bridge was completed in August 2016 upriver from the existing Winona bridge. Traffic uses the new bridge while the historic bridge undergoes rehabilitation to be completed by early 2020.

The two bridges are part of a larger effort in Mn/DOT’s Southeast Minnesota region, District 6. Four Mississippi River bridges are in District 6 and three new bridges are being built – two as replacements and one as an addition to the existing crossing. Along with Dresbach and Winona, Mn/DOT is replacing the Highway 63/Eisenhower bridge in Red Wing. The new bridge will be open for traffic in late 2019.

Mn/DOT previously won an ASBI award for the I-35W St. Anthony Falls bridge in 2009, marking the only other time a Mn/DOT bridge has won this award.

Mn/DOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.


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