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Surprise! Winona Bridge to partially open again Saturday

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The only bridge that connects Wisconsin with Winona, Minn., will re-open Saturday - at least to most vehicles.

Heavy trucks and pedestrians will still be barred from the bridge, which has been closed for 10 days after corroded gusset plates were found underneath.

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This week, Minnesota's DOT determined how much weight the bridge can hold. And it found it could support cars, vans, and pick-up trucks.

The closure was a hassle for the 2,800 Wisconsinites who work in Winona.

Last week, they had to drive at least 100 more miles a day.

This week, many rode a ferry and bus system the city put together at a cost of $85,000.

Now, the DOT says it can allow light vehicle traffic while it repairs the plates that support the concrete on the bridge.

Officials have not decided when the repairs will begin, or what the final cost will be.

Today (Friday), crews will finish installing signs and height restrictions. Nothing can be taller than 8.5 feet. Winona Mayor Jerry Miller calls the move "a relief."

Some wonder if Minnesota overreacted by closing the bridge, but city officials called it the right move.

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