It's taken more than three years, but construction on the new Hastings Bridge on Hwy. 61 over the Mississippi River is finally complete. Now it's time to celebrate.

Representatives from Minnesota Department of Transportation, leaders in the Hastings community and elected officials will dedicate the new $130 million bridge during a program at 10 a.m. Friday at Hastings City Hall, 101 E. 4th St.

A ribbon-cutting and mural unveiling will follow the program. The new public plaza on 2nd Street in downtown Hastings will feature stone murals by local artist Craig David. The murals depict scenes and characteristics that represent Hastings and its natural surroundings.

At 1,938 feet, the new Hastings Bridge is the longest free-standing tied arch bridge on the continent, MnDOT says. More than 30,000 vehicles use the four-lane bridge to cross the Mississippi River each day.

Among the confirmed speakers: Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks, Dakota County Commissioner Mike Slavik, state Rep. Denny McNamara, state Sen. Katie Sieben, U.S. Rep. John Kline, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle.

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