Update on the Eighth Street Bridge rehabilitation project

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 6:39 PM CDT
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The city’s iconic Eighth Street Bridge has been closed since mid-March for a historic rehabilitation project.

This week they actually began a pretty unique process.

The bridge was made over 100 years ago and the rare structure requires a unique construction plan.

Project manager Dena Knutson said, “When they made the bridge itself they didn’t fill it with concrete like we do today they actually fill it with the granular material”

They have since removed the granular fill.

Now, they’re working on taking out the old concrete from the arches of the bridge.

They’re doing this by hand removal and hydro-demolition

She said, “And then we're using, they called a shot Crete finish, which is kind of a spray-on concrete to fill back in what we’ve removed from the Hydro demo and the additional hand removal’s underneath. So, that gives it a nice smooth finish.”

This phase of the project is a slow and time-consuming process. It’s expected to continue for about a month and a half.

“Then we’ll be putting a waterproofing membrane over the arches to help seal it up and preserve that concrete arch that remains and then will fill it back in with granular material and pave over top,” said Knutson.

While the pandemic has made it a year of constant cancellations, postponements, and rescheduling, the timeline for completing the 8th Street Bridge has seemingly remained unaffected.

Knutson said, “The pandemic has not affected us at all. The crews are taking their precautions for their own company policies so every company’s a little bit different. But, as for the timeline for opening this fall, we are still on track.”

The project also includes improvements to the bike trail system running underneath the bridge. That’s expected to be completed sometime in 2021. The bridge is still expected to reopen by late Fall 2020.