Some passengers are boiling mad now that the new Queen of the Mississippi paddleboat will have to stop short of its final destination because of bridge construction in Hastings.
In its long and storied history, the Mississippi River has been home to paddleboats of all shapes and sizes, but the newest riverboat on the Mighty Mississippi is running into some rough waters on its maiden voyage.
It was supposed to be a week-long riverboat cruise connecting St. Louis to St. Paul, but a full day of planned voyage will be blocked Friday morning as crews begin moving the main span of the new Hastings bridge into place. The closure will last for half of the weekend.
That means there won't be any docking at Lambert's Landing near Warner Road on Saturday. In fact, the paddleboat will only make it as far north as Red Wing, and many who planned to board the boat say they are frustrated with the change in their travel plans.
However, the Minnesota Department of Transportation says plans to close that portion of the river in order to get the already-built span from dry land onto barges have been out there for months, but those plans can change at any time based on the whims of Mother Nature.
"It's a very large structure going into the river," explained Kirsten Klein, MnDOT spokeswoman. "That's like, 6.5 million pounds from shore to barges, and we want to keep people safe."
American Cruise Lines, which operates the Queen of the Mississippi, says it will help passengers recoup any extra expenses incurred by the change in travel plans.