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City to memorialize 'Big Blue'

The City of Hastings is preparing for a changing of the guard. In the next week, demolition on "Big Blue" will begin, leaving Hastings with a drastic transformation in the landscape and a new bridge to grace the skyline. For 62 years, the gray-blue continuous truss bridge has watched over the city, safely welcoming both residents and guests into our community. In a river city where a bridge is a symbol of progress and pride, it is a bittersweet moment to bid farewell to a landmark that has stood tall for so long.

Mayor Hicks and the City of Hastings plan to memorialize "Big Blue" with a farewell event and processional sometime during the week of June 2. Mourners should gather on the north lawn of City Hall, 101 4th Street East, for a short memorial service. If the weather cooperates, the City hopes to allow those in attendance to walk over the departing bridge one last time in an official processional with bagpipes. Shortly after the event, contractor Lunda/Ames will take possession of the bridge and begin the process of deconstructing the Hastings landmark.

For more information on this historic event, please sign up for the bridge updates via MnDOT's website. Go to and click on "Sign up for project email updates" on the right side of the page. The city will provide up-to-the-minute details on the timeline of the bridge farewell event via this site. You may also watch the City of Hastings website, or follow the city on Facebook or Twitter for the latest information. KDWA, AM1460, will also give updates.

The timeline of this event is highly dependent on the weather and the completion of the final construction tasks leading up to the changeover of both a single northbound and southbound lane of traffic to the new bridge. It is anticipated the event will take place sometime between Monday and Wednesday evenings, June 3-5.