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Construction on 35W bridge memorial gets under way

A rendering shows the proposed I-35 bridge collapse memorial. Crews began digging on the site a few days ago.

By TARA BANNOW
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The memorial to victims of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse is starting to take shape at a Minneapolis park along the Mississippi River.

Mayor R.T. Rybak and the architect of the so-called Remembrance Garden showcased the construction Thursday. Crews began digging on the site a few days ago.

The memorial will consist of a plaza with 13 beams — one representing each person killed when the bridge crumbled during an August rush hour in 2007. Views of the new bridge will be visible from a river bluff overlook.

Survivors of the bridge collapse say they’re relieved the frustrating wait for plans to build a memorial is over.

Brent and Chris Olson, of White Bear Lake, were on a section that didn’t collapse in 2007. They came to a gathering Thursday where plans were unveiled.

The downtown Minneapolis memorial on the Mississippi River bluff will have 13 LED-lit beams — one for each victim who died in the collapse. A wall of cascading water will feature the names of the nearly 150 survivors and a path to an observation deck will provide a view of the new 35W bridge.

A $1.5 million legal settlement tied to the collapse will pay for construction and upkeep.

It’s set to open Aug. 1, the fourth anniversary of the collapse.

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