A 19-year-old construction worker has been critically injured in a 45-foot fall from a $187.5 million bridge construction project into a cofferdam, authorities say.
Logan Scott Goodell, of Wheeler, WI, reportedly suffered "life-threatening" injuries when he fell from the Dresbach Bridge about 9 a.m. Wednesday (Nov. 5). Further information about his condition was not released later.
Goodell is an employee of Minnesota-based Ames Construction Inc., the general contractor awarded the bridge construction project in October 2012, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reported. The bridge carries I-90 over the Mississippi River, connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Ames Construction did not respond Thursday (Nov. 7) to a request for comment.
But Roger McBridge, the firm's vice president of safety, told WXOW of LaCrosse, WI: "Our safety team is at the project and will work with the project management to determine the cause of this very unfortunate incident."
'Long, Tedious' Rescue
Authorities said Goodell had been laying down a form for a concrete pour to build a new pier, known as Pier 2, on the Minnesota side of the bridge when he fell from a platform into the cofferdam.
Goodell's harness and safety vest were recovered later from the bottom of the cofferdam.
Another worker saw the fall, "initiated the emergency response plan, and called LaCrosse County 911," MnDOT reported.
A waiting boat on the Minnesota side carried first responders to the cofferdam where Goodell was trapped. An Ames crane was used to lift Goodell from the cofferdam after he had been placed into a rescue basket, authorities said. He was taken by boat back to shore and transported by ambulance to a local hospital about 10:45 a.m.
“I think everything went as smooth as things could go. It was a long, tedious job,” Town of Campbell Assistant Fire Chief Gary Brauer told WEAU of Campbell, WI.
Cambell Police Chief Nate Melby credited a smooth rescue effort to "extensive pre-incident planning conversations" in the weeks and months before the project with both Ames Construction and local emergency services.
About the Project
Work on the Pier 2 area of the project has been halted pending the investigation.
The MnDOT project involves the construction of two separate bridges, each 2,593 feet long, parallel to and upstream from the existing bridge, which is outdated.
Ames Construction has a $187.5 million contract to replace the Dresbach Bridge between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The project is on schedule, the company says.
The project, with a 100-year design life, includes two 12-foot lanes in each direction, wide shoulders, and a bike path.
Ames, founded in 1963, said on its website Thursday that the project was "progressing on schedule."
The project is expected to be completed in 2016.