Construction to begin on collapsed Minneapolis Bridge

by Leanne Gregg
NBC News

The bridge collapsed in early August, sending vehicles, concrete and pedestrians into the Mississippi river.

Thirteen people were killed and dozens of others injured.

Not only did the disaster claim lives, but it left a huge gap in the city's transportation system.

On Monday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for construction of the replacement bridge.

"Our major statement is that we will build the best and safest bridge for all Minnesotans," said Peter Sanderson with the construction firm flatiron-Mason.

The bridge is designed to haul five lanes of traffic in each direction lifted 70 feet above the Mississippi River.
It'll have state of the art pavement sensors, dramatic lighting, and is expected to last more than 100 years.

"First and foremost it's about creating a bridge with high safety, long term quality, and low maintenance," said engineer Linda Figg.

Completion date for the new bridge is set for Christmas Eve, 2008.