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Associated Press, Published September 05 2011

Opening of Hastings bridge delayed 6 to 12 months

HASTINGS, Minn. — The opening of the Highway 61 bridge in Hastings could be delayed as much as a year, in part because of high water levels and the state shutdown.

The $120 million bridge will span nearly 2,000 feet across the Mississippi River. Work began last year and was expected to wrap up in 2013. Now officials say it could take six to 12 months longer.

A Star Tribune report says one reason is that a steel part for the main span wasn't completed on time. The Minnesota Department of Transportation says it's evaluating why that happened.

MnDOT spokesman Steve Kordosky says if the contractors were at fault they could be financially liable.

But a contracting manager says the state shutdown in July meant state inspectors weren't always available when needed.