MILAN — The Milan Bridge project on state Highway 40 west of Milan will not be completed this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The bridge is now scheduled to open to traffic in June 2020, and that comes with the caveat. If major flooding occurs next spring, the project could see additional delays.

The project contractor lost a total of 35 working days due to the high water and unfavorable weather conditions this season. Contractor for the $7.7 million project, Robert R. Schroeder Construction of Glenwood, had launched the project in May with a six-days-a-week, sunup-to-sundown schedule in hopes of completing the work by Oct. 1.

High water conditions forced the contractor to delay the target date to Oct. 31, and continued high waters have forced a delay until next year.

MnDOT reports that if the weather is favorable, the contractor will continue to work on the east abutment and retaining walls on both sides of the bridge until mid-December. The slope will be stabilized and sheeting will stay in place over the winter.

Bridge work will be suspended until March 16, 2020. The contractor is expected to set beams and prepare the deck for pouring concrete on April 15. Riprap work and grading will start in April.

Detour to change

MnDOT also advises that the detour for the project will be moved in mid-November. It will be moved to state Highway 119 and U.S. Highway 59/state Highway 7 (to/from Appleton). It will remain in place through the duration of the project.

Highway 40 will be maintained and plowed up to the project, providing access to Lac qui Parle Lake and Milan Resort.