Eisenhower Bridge of Valor Project

×

Explore the Eisenhower Bridge of Valor

The new Eisenhower Bridge of Valor opened to traffic on November 21, 2019 after nearly three years of construction.

Explore the project by clicking on the icons and buttons on the map. Watch video clips featuring different voices from around the region on topics ranging from bridge design to art, history and tourism.

For best results, use Chrome, Firefox, or Edge browsers.

Let's Go!
×

Video Library

Time-lapse

Bridge Story

A Bridge that Spans Mark Anway's Memories

New Bridge; New Name

Carlos Figi's Daily Commute

Two States, Two DOT's, and a Whole lot of Engineers

Art of the Bridge

Regional Impact - the Business of a Bridge

Hike, Bike, or Jog - Get Moving Across the Bridge

Preserving Our Past

Protecting Sacred Sites

Local Philanthropy Beautifies the Bridge for All

Construction on the Wisconsin Side

New Techniques Needed for the New Bridge

Four-Year Front Row Seat to the Bridge Build

×

Red Wing Bridge History

Every day an average of 13,300 vehicles use the Eisenhower Bridge of Valor (also known as the Red Wing Bridge) bridge to cross the Mississippi River. This bridge provides the only regional river crossing for approximately 30 miles upstream and downstream for communities on either side of the river. The new $63.4 million Eisenhower Bridge of Valor replaced the Eisenhower Memorial Bridge.

DID YOU
KNOW?

According to state statute, the bridge would have retained its name, “Eisenhower Memorial Bridge,” which reflected the visit to Red Wing by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960 to dedicate the old bridge. A community group worked with legislators to broaden the name and also retain Eisenhower. Their version, “Eisenhower Bride of Valor,” was approved by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz in 2019. It reflects the region’s wishes to honor President Eisenhower’s visit, but also honor the residents who have served in the armed services, law enforcement and emergency responders.

Red Wing's Bridges

Whether it’s to obtain goods, services, or experiences, people have crossed the Mississippi River for centuries. Read how the Red Wing area river crossing has changed through the years.

Late 1800s: Ferry boats; 1895: High Bridge; 1960: Eisenhower Bridge; 2019: New Eisenhower Bridge.
Bridge Components
×

Bridge Components

The new Eisenhower Bridge of Valor has two travel lanes, one in each direction, with wider shoulders and a 12-foot wide shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists on the upstream side of the bridge. Standing more than 70 feet above the Mississippi River, the new bridge features ornamental railings, decorative spires and other carefully chosen design elements that were chosen through a vigorous community engagement process.

DID YOU
KNOW?

The new bridge spans 432 feet over the Mississippi River between Minnesota and Wisconsin. That’s nearly 475 pairs of size 11 Red Wing Boots lined up heel to toe!

boot

Bridge Components

Cross Section of bridge pier.

A spire is a tall decorative structre that tapers towards the top. The Red Wing Bridge has four spires.

The bridge deck supports the driving surfaces, shared-use path and lighting.

A Tub Girder is a large, steel hollow beam that supports the bridge deck (driving surface) and resembles the shape of a bath tub. Four tub girders make up a set. Three side-by-side sets support the bridge deck.

The pounds-per-square-inch (psi) of the pier column concrete - the amount of force needed to break a material - is 4,000 psi. That’s nearly 100x strong than the water pressure you have at home!

The steel rebar in the under-water portion of one of the piers weighs 408,305 lbs. In comparison, the Statue of Liberty weighs 450,000 lbs!

The pier in the Mississippi River has four, 9-foot diameter shafts.

Construction & Demolition
×

Construction and Demolition

The Eisenhower Memorial Bridge was “fracture critical,” meaning that if one fracture critical bridge section were to fail, the entire bridge could collapse. Following the I-35W Bridge collapse, the Minnesota Legislature established funding for rehabilitation or replacement of certain types of bridges around the state, including the Eisenhower Memorial Bridge.

More than just a new bridge...

The new Eisenhower Bridge of Valor maintains the important connection between Minnesota and Wisconsin. In addition to replacing the bridge, we made ajdustments to the supporting infrastructure, including:

  • Reconstructing Highway 63 on both sides of the Mississippi River.
  • Improving connections to Highway 61 and Highway 58 in Red Wing.
  • Creating better access to and from downtown Red Wing.
  • Upgrading bicycle and pedestrian crossings.

The new Eisenhower Bridge of Valor was built next to the existing bridge to keep the river crossing open during construction.

Aerial view of the new button hook ramp connecting Highway 63 to Highway 61 in Red Wing.

Construction Timeline

Construction began in May 2017 and was completed in October 2020.

Construction from May 2017 through Fall 2019. Project complete in fall 2020.

Construction Photos

Our team took some incredible photos of construction and demolition - take a look. Visit the Bridge Components page to learn more!

Demolition

Demolition of the former Eisenhower Memorial Bridge began shortly after the new bridge opened to traffic in November 2019. Piece by piece, the old bridge was dismantled.

Man cutting metal bridge component.

Construction crews cut the old bridge into pieces and removed it from the project site. Some of the old concrete was crushed up and reused.

Old bridge being lowered.

The steel truss over the river was disassembled and each piece lowered by crane onto a barge.

Construction from May 2017 through Fall 2019. Project complete in fall 2020.

Crews removed the piers and bridge abutments with conventional breakers, or large jackhammer attachments on excavators.

On June 30, 2020, crews used explosive charges to remove Pier 2 to approximately 2 feet below the mud line in the river. Blasting mats were placed on the surface of the water to prevent any debris from flying up during this process. All debris was removed from the area before allowing nearby traffic on the water and on land to resume.

Underwater blastic to remove old pier footings.
Explore the Map!
×

A 29-year Commute

Wisconsin resident, Carlos Figi, has commuted to Red Wing for 29 years. Hear how the new Eisenhower Bridge of Valor has changed his daily grind in the following video.


×

Art on the Bridge

While the Eisenhower Bridge of Valor is a work of art in the architectural and engineering sense, it's also going to be the home of 32 distinct pieces of art. Emily Guida Foos of Red Wing Arts explains where the art will go and the legacy it will leave for those who walk the bridge.


×

Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce

Approximately 13,000 vehicles cross the new Eisenhower Bridge of Valor every day; some for work, some for shopping, and some for play. Learn about the economic impact a bridge can make in the following video.


×

Goodhue County Historical Society

DID YOU
KNOW?

The City of Red Wing includes 25 properties on the National Register of Historic Places. A Historical Properties Vibration Monitoring Plan, which includes pre-construction and post-construction condition surveys, was used throughout the project to monitor and protect historic properties near the construction area.

We've come a long way since a ferry was used to cross the Mississippi River at Red Wing, but steps have been taken along the way to preserve our unique history. Check in the Goodhue County Historical Society in the following video to learn what's been preserved as we made way for the new Eisenhower Bridge of Valor.


×

Living Healthy Red Wing

Whether you hike, bike, or jog, the new pedestrian path across the Eisenhower Bridge of Valor will get you there safely while enjoying some of the best panoramic views of the Mississippi river and iconic bluffs.


×

City of Red Wing

Building a bridge this big is a massive endeavor involving partners across two states and multiple agencies. City Engineer, Jay Owens, describes his part in the four-year process and what the finished product brings to our region.


×

Project Office

Designing a bridge is difficult by any measure, but building one with tight approaches, active river and railroad tracks, and sinking roads in entirely another. MnDot Project Design Manager, Chad Hanson, explains some of the unique techniques used to build the Eisenhower Bridge of Valor.


×

Our Commitment to the Environment

Throughout construction, the Red Wing Bridge project team worked closely with local public and agency partners to monitor activities and protect the area's wildlife. From land to water to what’s flying overhead, there are an abundance of species that required our careful attention.

  • During nesting season, we continuously monitored the bald eagles that call this area home, and their eaglets, to protect them from disruption.
  • We limited tree trimming and removal to certain times of the year to protect the threatened northern long-eared bat.
  • All live mussels are protected in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Our efforts to minimize impacts included a mussel survey of the river bottom.
Tom Hughes Photography
×

Bridge Lighting

DID YOU
KNOW?

The bridge lighting can be turned off when the mayfiles are hatching to keep them from landing on the bridge and creating slick pavement. Millions of these bugs hatch annually up and down the Mississippi River.

boot

The aesthetic lighting balances the needs of the river valley with those of the community and modern design. Light pollution is intentionally reduced to be minimally disruptive to the environment. The lighting ties into the ornamental railings. Lights on the pillars and “wash lighting” outlines the bridge shape on the upstream side and is visible from Levee Park, the river, and the Wisconsin shoreline.

×

What’s Left of the Old Bridge?

On June 30, 2020, crews used explosive charges to remove Pier 2 to approximately 2 feet below the mud line in the river. Blasting mats were placed on the surface of the water to prevent any debris from flying up during this process. All debris was removed from the area before allowing nearby traffic on the water and on land to resume.

 
×

He Mni Can - Barn Bluff

Many of Red Wing’s historic properties were monitored during construction, including Barn Bluff. The project team hired a vibration specialist from a geotechnical engineering firm to conduct a vibration sensitivity assessment of Barn Bluff. This assessment included a field condition survey and developing vibration limits for the area surrounding Barn Bluff. An initial pre-construction condition survey was completed in 2016, and a follow-up survey was done in spring 2017. These surveys included photos, video, and non-invasive testing to capture data. In addition, a vibration monitoring team was formed to supervise the construction vibration plan and to monitor vibration-producing activities to prevent Barn Bluff from excessive vibration exposure throughout the project.

The Eisenhower Bridge of Valor is built directly next to He Mni Can/Barn Bluff in Red Wing; a site of tremendous cultural significance and history to the Dakota People. Nicky Buck and Noah White speak about the collaboration with the Prairie Island Indian Community to protect this resource during construction and into the future.