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Construction worker undergoes surgery after fall from bridge project

LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - A 19-year-old construction worker had surgery Wednesday, after he fell 45 feet from a bridge project on Interstate 90 just north of La Crosse. 

The man has worked for Ames Construction for about six months.

Authorities said he was installing concrete forms on the Dresbach Bridge at the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, when he fell into a coffer-dam on a support pier. It's a temporary enclosure that helps expose the bottom of the Mississippi River to allow for the pier's construction. 

He was wearing a harness when rescuers got to him and placed him on a boat while helped take him to a La Crosse hospital. Media reports said the man's father was also working on the bridge project.

Minnesota's DOT was handling the project, and the Gopher State's job safety agency will investigate the matter. Officials say it could take six months to complete the investigation, and determine if any safety violations led to the incident. 

Officials of both Ames Construction and government agencies said they worked in advance on a safety and emergency response plan for the bridge work. The new structure is due to open in 2016.