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I-35W bridge collapse anniversary: Steel remnants to be distributed

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Minnesota Department of Transportation officials in a few weeks will begin handing out tons of steel from the wreckage of the Interstate 35W bridge that collapsed Aug. 1, 2007, the Associated Press reports.

The eight-lane bridge in downtown Minneapolis buckled and fell into the Mississippi River, killing 13 and injuring 145, prompting lawsuits, and spurring debate about U.S. infrastructure.

About 9 million pounds of the rusting steel are stored in two facilities, but a new law will allow state officials to distribute it to victims, educators, historians and engineers. Lawsuits over the 2007 collapse of the Minneapolis bridge have been resolved, so the mangled beams and other pieces are no longer needed.

Among those that will receive bits of the bridge are the Minnesota Historical Society, the National Transportation Safety Board and college civil engineering institutes, each of which wants pieces to use as teaching tools.

State officials expect to give away 121 tons of the 3,380 tons of the steel, the AP has reported. Officials plan to sell what remains to metal recyclers, generating an estimated $645,000 for the state, a small fraction of what was paid out to survivors in compensation deals.

Here's the National Transportation Safety Board's report on the collapse.

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