MILAN — The $7.7 million project to replace the Minnesota Highway 40 Milan Bridge is officially complete, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reported Tuesday.

Construction began in May 2019 and the new bridge opened to single-lane traffic in July 2020, and to two-way traffic in November 2020.

High water conditions delayed work by the contractor for the bridge replacement, Robert S. Schroeder Construction, of Glenwood.

Construction continued into 2021 by Artistic Stone and Concrete, of St. Joseph, to restore the historic riprap. With placement and grouting of the extensive stonework completed early in August, the final tasks of grading, grass seeding and tree planting marked the end of the project this week.

Related:

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The bridge is located three miles west of Milan and was originally erected in 1939 as part of a Works Progress Administration project. The original, historic stonework laid by hand was removed and replaced to preserve the historic integrity of the site.

The new bridge is 34 feet wide and spans 160 feet from abutment to abutment — 40 feet longer than the original steel-truss bridge. MnDOT had proposed in 2014 to restore the original Milan Bridge for an estimated $2.6 million. The department approved the more expensive, concrete span bridge in response to concerns raised by residents in the area.