Pedal & Paddle
Tour De Pepin, on June 7, offers bikers three options: a 15-mile ride from Lake City to
Wabasha, Minn.; a 32-mile ride from Lake City to Stockholm, Wis.;
and a 72-mile ride the around Lake Pepin along the Great River
Road. Options include shuttle service back to Lake City. Those
who ride the 32-mile tour can return on the Pearl of the Lake paddleboat.
To register, visit the Tour
de Pepin website.
• If you don’t want
to paddle, this year you can pedal your way from Coon Rapids Dam
Regional Park to Grey Cloud Island in this summer’s Mississippi
River Challenge, a two-day event sponsored by the Friends of the
Mississippi River. The fifth annual challenge, July
26 and 27, includes an overnight campout at Fort Snelling
State Park. To register for the fundraising event, visit the Friends’ website.
• Great River Rumble paddlers
will travel 108 miles down three rivers
from Menomonie to La Crosse, Wis. The seven-day
trip from July 26 to
Saturday, August 2, will begin on the Red
Cedar River, enter the Chippewa River,
then paddle the last three days on the
Mississippi. Paddlers can sign up for any segment of the trip.
Find more information on the River
Wis. — The
old Potosi Brewing Company building will
open in early June with a microbrewery, restaurant/pub, a Great
River Road interpretive center and a national brewing museum.
have been on an amazing path, against
all nay-sayers who said it never would happen,” said David
Fritz, a project donor.
In 1999, a group of three people
secured the four-story building, which had been
vacant since the brewery shut down in 1972.
A nonprofit group, the Potosi Brewery Foundation,
formed to raise money and to oversee the
restoration. It has raised $4.5 million
from about 400 donors and plans to raise about $2.6 million more
to pay off loans.
The interpretive center features
the Potosi Transportation Museum, which
tells the story of transportation through
the lens of the old brewing company. Potosi Brewing
Co. owned a steamship, which was rare,
if not unknown, for a brewery.
Brewing Museum is
the only museum of its type in the nation.
The American Breweriana Association, the
largest beer-related collectors’ group in North America,
selected Potosi for the site of its new
The microbrewery will make 3,000
barrels of beer a year, to be served in
the restaurant and to sold in bottles and
kegs. The restaurant will seat 90 to 100 people. The 30-foot,
hand-carved bar took carpenter Gary David
nearly nine months to complete. Architects
incorporated the original spring-fed pond,
which furnished water to the old brewery,
in an outdoor dining area.
Across the road, at a privately
owned convention center, a silo has been
transformed into a 40-foot cone-top beer
can. Potosi Brewery Restoration Project
Minn. — Two old
bridges across the Mississippi River in
Minnesota will be torn down and replaced,
because the Minnesota Department of Transportation
found critical flaws. The DeSoto Bridge
on Highway 23 in St. Cloud and the Highway
61 Bridge in Hastings, Minn., have moved
to the top of the list for replacement.
Bridge inspectors closed the bridge
in St. Cloud in late March after discovering
that gusset plates in four parts of the bridge had bent about a
quarter of an inch. They weren’t taking
any chances. Under-sized gusset plates
have been implicated in the collapse of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis
on August 1, 2007, that killed 13 people.
Bridge traffic, which
had averaged about 31,000 vehicles a day,
was re-rerouted. The 890-foot bridge, which
was built in 1957, had been scheduled for replacement
in 2015. It will now be demolished this
summer and replaced by 2009.
Forty-five miles south of the
Twin Cities, the 58-year-old Hastings bridge
will now be replaced by 2010, moved up from 2020.
It is one of the most heavily traveled
in the state, with about 32,000 vehicles
crossing it each day. The latest inspection
rating had dropped from 49.1 to 38.1 on a 100 point scale, due
to severe corrosion since the last inspection.
The National Transportation
Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation
of the Minneapolis I-35W Bridge collapse
is scheduled for completion at the end
of the year. Among other things, the investigation is trying to
determine how the apparent gusset-plate design error occurred and
why it was not discovered. The NTSB is also developing computer
models and a 1/200th scale model to explore the bridge’s
In the meantime, the NTSB has
advised the Federal Highway Administration
to require bridge owners to update load
capacity calculations to include modifications and other changes
to the bridges since they were built, then
to recalculate the load carrying capacity
of the gusset plates.
the new I-35W bridge progress online.
Update: Hennepin County closes
Lowry Avenue Bridge on April 25, 2008