HASTINGS, Minn. – This morning, Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove) joined area residents, business leaders and other public officials at a bridge dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Hastings Bridge.
“The successful completion of the new Hastings Bridge was made possible by the way this community worked together,” said Sieben. “Our citizens, local officials, business leaders and the Ames-Lunda partnership all shared an unwavering commitment to meet each and every challenge along the way and ensure this bridge got done on time.”
Following the I-35W bridge collapse in 2007, it became urgently clear that Big Blue—Minnesota’s most heavily trafficked two-lane bridge—had become functionally obsolete. However, projections at the time estimated the Hastings region would have to wait over 15 years to construct a new crossing over the Mississippi River.
In response, Sen. Sieben advocated for an accelerated timeline and established the Bridge Coalition in late 2007, bringing together local citizens, business leaders and elected officials to collaborate on a solution for the Hastings region. The result of their work made the new Hastings Bridge a reality in just five years.
“The new bridge means so much for our region,” said Sieben. “It’s safer for families, more efficient for commerce and will promote growth in our community in the years ahead.”
The new $130 million four-lane bridge was financed by state and federal funds and is expected to be crossed by more than 32,000 vehicles a day. With a lifespan of more than 100 years, the new Hastings Bridge not only provides a vital economic link across the Mississippi River, but it also stands as a regional landmark, incorporating public art and a design that blends with the surrounding environment.
Added Sieben, “Big Blue served our community well for generations. Today we’re excited to cut the ribbon on a safer and more efficient bridge that will serve our community for the next 100 years.”