House to vote on plan to distribute I-35W bridge remnants

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The Minnesota House on Monday is set to vote on a bill that would finalize a disposal plan for thousands of tons of steel that were the Interstate 35W bridge that fell in 2007, the Associated Press reported.

The plan would give historians, safety officials, teachers and victims of the collapse six months to claim pieces of the steel. After that, the Minnesota Department of Transportation could sell the rest to scrap dealers. Officials expect the sale of about 3,260 tons of steel might fetch $645,000. The Historical Society, victims and some others would receive remnants free of charge.

Lawsuits over the 2007 collapse of the Minneapolis bridge have been resolved, so the mangled beams and other pieces are no longer needed. The bridge remnants are stored in a storage building near the Twin Cities.

Officials decided that legislation was necessary to create the disposal plan in order to set up an orderly process and to ensure that the state was not liable given the lead-based paint from the old bridge's lime-green supports.

The collapse killed 13 people and injured 145. Investigators mostly blamed an original design flaw but said there were other contributing factors.

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