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Mississippi River bridge crossing between Illinois, Iowa imploded

Friday marked the end of an era for eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois, as the original crossing of the Mississippi River at Savanna, Illinois and Sabula, Iowa came crashing down.

The Savanna-Sabula bridge has spanned the Mississippi River for 86 years -- and was imploded shortly after 10:30 a.m.

According to our news partners at WQAD, the bridge was built in 1931 and 1932. The original cost of the bridge was $750,000. Upon completion, the bridge was billed as the “Short Route” between Chicago and Cedar Rapids. But the bridge was designed during a time when cars and trucks were small and the twenty foot width of the roadway just wasn’t wide enough.

The bridge had an open-grate bridge deck that meant that those crossing the 65-foot tall bridge could see right down to the water below. It was particularly treacherous during times of freezing rain when the steel would accumulate ice.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation spent $80 million to build a new crossing, immediately south of the existing structure.