"This one will stand a thousand years," former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein said. The bridge across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis is now open to traffic.
After more than four years without a bridge connecting north and northeast Minneapolis, more than 350 people celebrated the grand opening of a new Lowry Avenue bridge on Saturday morning with boisterous fanfare that included a parade, jet flyover and water ski show.
"This is truly a great day, a long time coming," former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein said. "If we liked the old bridge, we'll love this one. The old one stood 100 years. This one will stand a thousand years."
Dozens of residents and bridge construction workers attended the celebration, snapping photos of the towering, white steel arches that span the bridge, which an estimated 16,000 cars will pass over each day.
"You know who else will go over it? Me on a bicycle," said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, one of the many elected officials who attended the grand opening. "It's going to be an amazing thing. We didn't just rebuild it, we rebuilt it right."
After the party, the bridge opened to traffic on Saturday afternoon. Most of the $104 million project is complete besides some minor park landscaping, painting and work on a deicing system.