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New bridge design unveiled by MnDOT

The new design for the collapsed section of the 35W bridge was unveiled Monday. The new bridge will have a strong emphasis on safety, according to renderings released to the public by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the construction companies in charge of the project.

Some of the safety features included in the new design include sensors built into the structure of the bridge to help monitor stability and integrity, numerous backup systems that the previous bridge lacked. The bridge will also be built with highly durable concrete, according to the renderings, reports the Associated Press.

Flatiron and Manson Constructors are the companies assigned the $233.8 million project. Current plans are for construction to begin Nov. 1 and completed by Christmas Eve 2008, according to the contract. The companies can earn a bonus for early completion also, in the multimillion dollar range, according to the Associated Press.

According to the Star Tribune, the new bridge will be 10 lanes wide, and will be supported by pillars based on the river banks of the Mississippi. The design also allows for a pedestrian walkway.