A couple of weeks ago, the New Hastings Bridge design was revealed. I had very mixed thoughts about it.
Below is the new design.
The details listed on the Hastings Bridge Project website
Innovative design is based on a free-standing arch main span
Four lanes of traffic (two northbound and two southbound lanes)
A 12 foot wide common use pedestrian/bike path from 4th Street to the North Loop that will run beneath the bridge
A Plaza Area south of 2nd Street
Parking directly beneath the bridge between 2nd Street and the Mississippi River
An anti-icing system similar to that on the I-35W Mississippi River bridge
A new North Loop contributes to safety by eliminating an at-grade, high-speed median crossover from northbound Hwy 61 into local businesses; it also will allow southbound pedestrians safe access to the local trail system
Minimal affect on traffic, with two lanes of traffic maintained throughout the project (one lane in each direction)
Permanent construction is scheduled to begin in October 2010, with a portion of the bridge scheduled to be open to two-lane traffic in summer 2012, and all four lanes open to traffic by May 31, 2013
The bridge has a 100-year design life at a construction cost of $119,830,890
I love the idea of the modern bridge but it doesn’t exactly fit with the scene coming off the bridge. The buildings are historic. This is what you would see as you come in to Hastings via the Gobblegait Race I did this past year.
I know that many of the business owners are very displeased with the bridge style and there are concerns about how the traffic will affect the businesses nearby.
To me, I am all for Hastings becoming more modern. Pretty much all of the buildings going down Highway 61 need some work/updating. Especially at the Hwy 61/Hwy 316 junction.
In all I hope this will be a SMOOTH process. I know, for most, everyone would be happy to have a more effective and safer way to get out of town.