A 19-year-old construction worker has life-threatening injuries after falling about 40 feet from a bridge on I-90 over the Mississippi River on Wednesday morning.
The Ames construction worker fell from the Dresbach Bridge around 9 a.m. into a coffer dam -- a large metal structure built to support a construction project. He was trapped in a confined space until crews were able transport him in a boat that entered from the Minnesota side of the river and bring him ashore. He was then brought to a hospital in La Crosse, Wis. but the magnitude of his injuries is unknown.
"Right now our immediate concern is the health and welfare of the injured worker. Work on Pier 2 has temporarily stopped while the incident is being investigated, but work on the rest of the project is continuing. There is no impact to traffic on the construction site," said Mark Anderson, MnDOT project manager. "This was the first lost-time incident on the project."
The Dresbach Bridge project began construction late last year and is expected to last until 2016. The new crossing will have two separate bridges parallel and upstream from the existing bridge. Two 12-foot lanes will be added in each direction, an eastbound acceleration lane, wider shoulders and a path that allows bikers to avoid crossing the highway.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.