The City of Hastings has received the tentative go-ahead from MnDOT or a bridge memorial event to commemorate the final hours of "Big Blue." If the weather cooperates, the bridge farewell processional will take place on Tuesday evening, June 4. Those interested in attending this historic event should meet on the north lawn of City Hall, 101 E. Fourth St., at 6:30 p.m.
Following a short memorial led by Mayor Paul Hicks, citizens will be allowed to walk the main span of the bridge for the last time. The walk will serve as the city's tribute to a structure that has provided safe passage to a countless number of residents, commuters and visitors since 1951. Local bagpiper Andrew Fox will lead the processional in a final farewell march. A Hastings native, Fox has been playing bagpipes since the age of 13 and plays with the Macalester College Pipe Band.
Attendees are asked to arrive early and park in the public parking lots in the downtown area. Lots are located at the intersection of Fourth and Sibley streets and at Second and Tyler streets. Street closures in the area of the event will be marked with appropriate signage.
Shortly after the event, contractor Lunda/Ames will take possession of the bridge and begin the process of deconstructing the Hastings landmark. The City of Hastings is thankful for the partnership with Lunda/Ames and MnDOT for allowing this event to take place.
For more information, sign up for the bridge updates via MnDOT's website. Go to www.dot.state.mn.us/hastingsbridge and click on the "Sign up for project email updates" on the right side of the page. Up-to-the minute details on the timeline of the bridge farewell will be provided via the MnDOT site. You may also watch the City of Hastings website, follow the city on Facebook or Twitter, or listen for updates on KDWA AM 1460.