Hastings to say goodbye to landmark bridge

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — Residents of Hastings soon will say goodbye to a landmark bridge.

The U.S. 61 bridge has spanned the Mississippi River for six decades. But by late Tuesday, all traffic will be diverted off the old steel truss-style bridge and onto two lanes of a new $120 million tied-arch-style crossing.

Crews will begin dismantling about 400 feet of the old bridge’s south end on Wednesday. But Minnesota Department of Transportation project manager Steve Kordosky says work on removing the arches and the rest of the bridge won’t start until late August.

Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/119xdGt) seeing the bridge go will bring mixed emotions for many residents, including himself.

Hicks and other leaders plan to memorialize the old downtown bridge with a farewell event Tuesday.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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