Construction three months ahead of schedule
Work on the new I-35W bridge was about 65 percent complete by early May, putting construction about three months ahead of schedule, Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said.
Gutknecht cautioned, however, that there was no guarantee the bridge would open three months early, in September instead of December.
“I would tell you we are very happy with the schedule and the way things are going on the job,” he said. “Sixty-five percent is done. However, there is still a great deal of work to do.”
MnDOT’s contract with Flatiron Constructors called for a Dec. 24 ribbon-cutting ceremony. Flatiron can earn up to $20 million for early completion of the work.
“The contractor is optimistic,” Gutknecht said. “The contractor built the schedule in an effort to get the incentive.”
Gutknecht added, though, that the work ahead this summer was very complex. Even a small setback, such as a delay in the delivery of materials, could erase some of the contractor’s lead on the opening date, he said.