New bridge to open after Minneapolis collapse

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A new bridge over the Mississippi River will open Thursday in Minneapolis to replace the one that collapsed and killed 13 people last year.

Officials gathered Monday on the replacement Interstate 35W bridge to announce the end of construction. They also detailed plans for a permanent memorial to the dead and 145 injured in the Aug. 1, 2007, disaster on the major Minneapolis artery.

The new concrete span includes high-tech sensors and backup features lacking in the 41-year-old steel truss bridge it replaces. The $234 million bridge was fast-tracked to restore the traffic route that accounted for 140,000 trips a day.

The builders are in line for a bonus up to $27 million for completing the project more than three months early.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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