The Red Wing Bridge was a cantilever bridge that carried U.S. Route 63 over the Mississippi River from Wisconsin to the City of Red Wing. The bridge opened to the public in 1960 and was officially named the Eisenhower Bridge in honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States. After the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis in 2007, the State of Minnesota undertook a thorough investigation of the State's bridges and roadway infrastructure.
Determined to be “fracture critical,” a team that included MnDOT, WisDOT, Red Wing, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), SEH and many other teaming partners opted for a full bridge replacement and reconfiguring of both roadway approaches. Red Wing Bridge was the only crossing within 30 miles upstream and downstream of the City, and thus needed to be handled with efficiency and care.
The teaming partners noted above collaborated to replace the Red Wing Bridge with the newly designed and constructed Eisenhower Bridge of Valor – named in honor of the former bridge and sacrifices made by U.S. military service members. The MnDOT Bridge Office provided final design for the bridge. Construction of the replacement began in 2017, with demolition of the former bridge beginning fall 2019 and completed in spring 2020.
The bridge officially opened to the public in November 2019, with a community-driven ribbon cutting ceremony taking place shortly after. This video from SEH provides a glimpse of the event in addition to the bridge’s unique history. Led by MnDOT, the project was a $63 million, multi-phase and multi-year effort that was officially deemed complete in November 2020.
Strategic engagement amidst a diverse population
The process for determining the preferred alternative involved consideration of complex site challenges, engagement of diverse public and agency stakeholders, as well as the balancing of navigational, historical, environmental, business, resident and commuter priorities. The project setting fell within one of the most diverse, historical and cultural settings in Minnesota – requiring a strategic approach to community and public engagement.
SEH’s efforts for the project involved assisting a committee of community members and DOT staff in establishing and documenting the desired character for a new bridge that would cross the Mississippi River. The team’s extensive public outreach program included open houses, listening sessions, individual stakeholder meetings, newsletters, press releases, a project website and video production using hand-held and drone footage (more below) during various project phases.
The project team’s integrated approach addressed the design of bridge piers, girders, facias, lighting, overlooks, retaining walls, abutments, restoration landscaping and public art.
Construction oversight, management and administration
The SEH team also provided construction oversight, construction management and construction administration over the course of several years and phases – including construction of the new bridge and demolition of the previous bridge. The video embedded at the top of the page provides an up-close look at the former bridge’s demolition and deconstruction.
The Eisenhower Bridge of Valor connects Wisconsin and Minnesota over the Mississippi River, provides a gateway to downtown Red Wing, and was built directly alongside the historic bridge it replaced.
Precise drone filming and video production
SEH’s drone services team performed drone filming and photography as well as video production throughout multiple stages of the bridge replacement – including, as touched on above, demolition of the previous bridge, overall project progress and the City’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
The drone filming and production helped educate and engage the public, keep stakeholders informed throughout the project, underscored the bridge’s history and importance, and provided an exclusive look at not only the work that all partners and stakeholders put into the project but the celebration that took place upon completion.
Red Wing Mississippi River Bridge Replacement
City of Red Wing, Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), City of Red Wing
- 1,700 ft. long, 380+ ton bridge replacement
- Strategic public outreach and engagement
- Coordination with local, regional, state and federal agency staff from Minnesota and Wisconsin
- Bridge river piers with drilled shafts
- Steel tub girders and fascia
- Signals and Systems, and lighting
- Bridge overlooks
- Retaining walls
- Restoration landscaping and public art
- Highway design
- Construction management and administration
- Natural resource scientists
- Planning and landscape architecture
- Traffic engineering
- Transportation planning
- Water resources engineering
- Project management
- Alternatives development and analysis
- Preliminary design
- Environmental documentation
- Drone services