10 years later, remnants from the 35W bridge collapse will be displayed

Curators have picked out two artifacts to symbolize the tragedy.
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It's been nearly 10 years since the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis – killing 13 people, injuring more than 100 others, and sending the whole country a warning about the dangers of unsafe bridges.

The Minnesota Historical Society, whose collection includes lots of artifacts from that fateful day, announced Thursday that it will put a couple of them on display to mark the 10-year milestone of the August 1 collapse.

A gusset plate

The Historical Society's Mill City Museum faces the Mississippi near where the bridge fell, so it's a logical place to commemorate the event.

In the area in front of the museum (called the Mill City Commons) you'll be able to see the part of the bridge that was pinpointed as the weak link that caused the collapse.

It's called a gusset plate. The National Transportation Safety Board's report on the collapse concluded that a design error meant the gusset plates were too thin for the heavy loads the bridge was carrying.

Its importance is symbolic because, as you can see below, it's not much to look at. It'll be on display from July 28 through August 30, the Historical Society says.

School bus emergency door

Over in St. Paul the Minnesota History Center will show the public a door. It's the emergency exit door from a school bus. And if any school bus ever needed an emergency exit, it was this one.

52 kids and nine adults were returning from a field trip to a water park when they got stuck in the rush hour traffic on the bridge. After the collapse their bus was still high above the river, precariously perched on piece of wreckage.

One of the adults kicked open the rear door and everyone made it off the bus. Some headed to the hospital, most were able to go straight home, but all were survivors. And all of them have signed the yellow school bus door that will be on display at the History Center.

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