RICHFIELD, Minn. – A nearly seven-mile stretch of westbound Highway 62 that was closed Tuesday due to a damaged pedestrian bridge has reopened.
The Minnesota State Patrol says a truck hauling metal beams hit the bridge just east of Hwy. 100 Tuesday morning. No one was hurt. Hwy. 62 was then closed between Interstate 35W in Richfield to Highway 100 in Edina.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation said Wednesday afternoon that traffic would flow again on the stretch starting Thursday at 6 a.m. after crews complete removing the bridge. But crews finished their work ahead of schedule, and the stretch was reopened Wednesday evening.
When traffic got diverted Tuesday, Len Levine's 15-minute trip to Untiedt's Vegetable Farm in Edina took nearly triple the time.
"All of a sudden we couldn't believe it," Levine said. "We got into traffic that was standing still, and there was no notice. We didn't know what was going on."
Levine happens to be a former MnDOT commissioner.
"It's going to be heavily congested on neighborhood streets and it's going to cause backup on 494 as well," he said.
Traffic worries aside, the women who run Untiedt's say making the bridge safe again is what's most important.
"I hope they take their good time, get it done right, do it right the first time," said Whitney Aune. "No reason to mess up a bridge in Minnesota."
This isn't the first time this year this bridge has been damaged. A vehicle hit it in January, and the bridge closed for an extended period of time.
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