HASTINGS, Minn. -- Before the sun made its way above the horizon in Hastings, a massive crowd had swelled on the banks of the Mississippi River. They were there waiting for the city's newest, soon to be most famous resident.
"It's just incredible when you think about how heavy that thing is and the amount of manpower that it takes to think all that up," longtime Hastings resident Lisa Guetter said as the new bridge span floated by on a series of 8 barges.
Mn DOT built the 545 foot span on shore to save time and money. That method also provides a safer work environment for construction crews. It took all of an hour for 4 tug boats to drag the more than 6 million pound bridge deck and façade downriver.
"These guys have just worked like beavers all summer and I'm a civil engineer and I'm really impressed with the way this thing came together," Hastings resident Al Cheney remarked.
It will take crews about a day and a half to parallel park the bridge where it needs to be before the strand jacks high above the water grab the structure on Sunday night. "Each one of those actually has about 50 cables with them and they will actually reach down and lift the bridge into place," Mn DOT Spokesperson Kirsten Klein explained.
It only took 60 minutes to get the bridge from point A to point B. It may have taken even less time for the bridge to find its way into the fabric of this community. "Just knowing that we're going to have a nice safe, sound bridge is comforting for a lot of people," Guetter concluded, with a smile.
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