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Highway 61 bridge and 35W bridge received similar rankings recently

The Highway 61 bridge in Hastings and the Interstate 35W bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis received nearly identical rankings from the Federal Highway Administration recently.

The Hastings bridge received ratings of "5" for the deck, the superstructure and substructure.

A "5" means fair condition.

The 35W bridge that collapsed had rankings of 5 for deck, 4 for superstructure and 6 for substructure.

According to the National Bridge Inventory, fair condition means that "all primary structural elements are sound but (the bridge) may have minor section loss, cracking, spalling or scour."

The Highway 61 bridge in Hastings was built in the early 1950s. As of 2004, more than 32,500 cars were crossing the bridge a day.

The Star Gazette will continue to update this story.

Look for a full story in next week's issue.