Editorial: Kudos, city staff, for a great sendoff
Behind the scenes in recent weeks, City of Hastings officials have been hard at work to pull off a sendoff for the old Highway 61 bridge here.
On Tuesday night, we all got to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The event was a simple one -- gather in the lawn at City Hall, wait for the northbound traffic to be switched, hear a speech and then set off on foot to walk the bridge one last time before demolition on it begins.
But it took a lot of work to get the OK for the event, and we are very thankful the city worked as hard as it did to pull off the event. We are also thankful the contractors (Lunda/Ames) and the Minnesota Department of Transportation signed off on the event.
Had the city not worked as hard as it did to get the event to take place, a milestone moment in the history of Hastings would have just whisked by in a matter of minutes. We're thankful that history didn't occur that way. Rather, we all got to take a few minutes, stroll over the old bridge, take a bunch of photos and then kiss it goodbye (figuratively, of course).
The bridge served us well for the most part. As Mayor Paul Hicks said in his speech prior to the walk across the bridge, the bridge withstood a record flood, mayflies so thick they had to be removed by a snowplow and blizzards, among other things.
But it was time for it to go. Just ask anyone who worked north of Hastings what traffic was like when they came back to town every afternoon.
So, goodbye you big blue rust bucket. We are sad to see you go (this is sarcasm) and we promise we won't dance on your grave as crews haul you away piece by piece (more sarcasm).