Winona Bridge – Hwy 43 Over the Mississippi River

Winona, Minnesota

The TH 43 bridge over the Mississippi River links downtown Winona, Minnesota with Latsch Island and Wisconsin STH 54. Opened in 1942, the 2,289-foot bridge currently carries nearly 12,000 vehicles per day. The importance of the river crossing to commuters, commercial vehicles, emergency services, and tourists was highlighted when the bridge was closed for emergency repairs during 2008, necessitating a 60-mile detour to cross the river.

Following repairs in 2008, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) determined that the Winona Bridge should be rehabilitated or replaced as part of a statewide program addressing fracture-critical bridges. SRF was selected to prepare environmental documentation and preliminary engineering for the project. As the bridge is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, an extensive evaluation of rehabilitation and replacement options was considered. Federal and state agency procedures related to historic bridges evolved while the project was underway. Ultimately, a “two-bridge solution,” including rehabilitation of the existing historic bridge, which will carry two lanes of northbound traffic, and construction of a new two-lane girder bridge upstream of the existing bridge that will carry two lanes of southbound traffic, was selected.

Consulting for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, SRF led the preliminary design phase of the project, which included extensive bridge, roadway, water resources, and urban design work. SRF’s emphasis on visual quality in the stakeholder involvement process was instrumental in gaining support for the project locally.

SRF worked closely with MnDOT to adjust the project’s work plan, while preserving the project budget and meeting the primary goals of the Winona Bridge project to:

  • Provide a structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing TH 43 Mississippi River crossing that meets current geometric and structural standards.
  • Minimize environmental impacts to the river corridor and Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Reduce congestion and delays through improved traffic operations.
  • Lead a sensitive public involvement process.
  • Maximize maintenance of traffic across the river during construction
  • Improve pedestrian/bicycle crossing.

SRF was responsible for the following tasks:

  • Public and agency involvement
  • Visual quality management
  • Traffic forecasting and operations analysis
  • Bridge rehabilitation or replacement evaluation
  • Bridge feasibility study and concept evaluation
  • Alternative selection
  • Preliminary and final geometric layout
  • Environmental analysis, including cultural resources and a mussel survey
  • Combined federal Environmental Assessment (EA) and state Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW), with 4(f) determinations
  • Preliminary bridge design and plan preparation
  • Cost estimating
  • Construction staging evaluation
  • Municipal coordination

Minnesota Department of Transportation