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Key pieces of I-35W bridge collapse go to history museum

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The Minnesota Historical Society on Thursday took possession of four remnants of the Interstate 35W bridge that collapsed into the Mississippi River, for eventual display to the public, the Star Tribune reported.

The pieces include two large beams and two gusset plates that investigators said failed, causing the eight-lane span to buckle and fall in Minneapolis on Aug. 1, 2007. The pieces are an important visual aid in the telling of the story of the collapse, curators say.

It has not yet been determined when the bridge pieces would go on display at the Minnesota History Museum in St. Paul.

“It’s a compelling story, an important chapter in Minnesota’s history," Adam Scher, the Historical Society’s senior curator, told the Star Tribune. "That’s the reason that we are preserving them.”

The rush-hour collapse killed 13 and injured 145, sparked lawsuits and led to a national debate about deteriorating infrastructure.

State officials had expected to give away 121 tons of the 3,380 tons of steel to victims, educators, historians and engineers. One survivor, a driver on the bridge that day, made an emotional trip to claim a piece of the bridge in August, telling WCCO that he wanted the remnant as a reminder that life is short.

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Bridge stories: 5 years later, survivors revisit I-35W collapse

In the five years since the I-35W bridge fell into the Mississippi River, the span has been rebuilt, most of the lawsuits have been settled and a memorial has been constructed. But pain, grief and memories linger for survivors. Here are a few of the memorable stories from that day.