Five Years After I-35W Collapse, Lakeville Has Safe But Problem Bridge

The I-35 bridge over Kenwood Trail in Lakeville is considered 'Functionally Obsolete' by federal and state authorities, but remains safe.

Five years ago today, the way this country looks at roads and bridges changed forever.

Aug. 1, 2007, the I-35W bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring another 145.

In the immediate aftermath, federal and state authorities revamped the way bridges are inspected and ultimately graded for safety.

Today, five years later, Dakota County is home to ten bridges the Minnesota Department of Transportation and federal authorities deem problematic.

Lakeville is home to one—the Interstate 35 crossing over Kenwood Trail (County Road 50). Designated with the less dramatic "Functionally Obsolete" tag, the bridge is considered problematic because of its outdated approach guardrails. Built in 1965, the bridge itself is structurally sound, MnDot says, with no concerns about the structure or bridge deck.

The state also has no plan to replace the bridge at this time, despite the tag of being obsolete.

Meanwhile, Dakota County is home to four bridges considered "Structurally Deficient," which is the worst designation that can be given to a bridge.

The old Hastings bridge is on that list twice as it had both north- and southbound lanes listed separately. But that bridge will be replaced in 2014 by a new, modern bridge, which is currently under construction.

The other two Structurally Deficient bridges are in Burnsville and in Waterford Township, but both are closed due to their poor structural conditions.

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