MnDOT uses barge to gather MN River information for Hwy 14 bridge design–Construction set for 2017-18

MnDOT shares latest news for Hwy 14 improvements

MANKATO, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is quickly moving forward with the Highway 14 construction plans in New Ulm for 2017-18 and a tell-tale sign will be the arrival of a barge in the Minnesota River the week of September 14.

The barge is used to hold a boring rig that will drill down into the riverbed rock for information that will determine the most efficient bridge structure for Highway 14 over the Minnesota River in New Ulm.  The operation is a lengthy process with each hole taking five to seven days.  Information is gathered continuously as the drill reaches depths of 70 to 100 feet.  MnDOT estimates the barge to be present for about five weeks.

Using a river barge for the boring rig is preferred over parking the equipment on the river bridge and closing Highway 14 to traffic.  The barge can also move and the crew can access more locations to drill.

The local task force recommended and MnDOT confirmed that the improvements on Highway 14 in the New Ulm area will include:

  • Two-lane bridge over the Minnesota River with a substructure that can be expanded to four lanes
  • Two-lane bridge over Front Street designed for four lane expansion adjacent to the structure
  • An interchange at the intersection of Highways 14 and 15 and Nicollet County Road 21 (Y intersection)
  • Roundabout at the Highway 14 and Front Street intersection
  • Reconstruction of Highway 14 between Broadway and Front Street

MnDOT foundations specialists will be running the drilling operations.  MnDOT has retained the barge and services from J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. of La Crosse, Wisconsin for $195,500.

Highway 14 project designs for the New Ulm area can be found at .

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