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Wakota Bridge completion nearing

Better late than never.

Three years behind schedule and millions over budget, the final span of the reconstructed Interstate 494 Wakota Bridge that spans the Mississippi River from Newport to South St. Paul stands six months from the finish line.

July 29 will mark the completed bridge's official opening.

For officials in tiny Newport - the city that has borne the brunt of an almost decade-long highway and bridge construction project - that date can't come soon enough.

"Its been long overdue and it will be great to have it completed," said Newport Mayor Tim Geraghty.

Minnesota Department of Transportation officials say the bridge opening will coincide with the completion of an expansion of I-494 through Woodbury.

- Scott Wente and Jon Avise