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Published May 26, 2010, 05:04 PM

Oldest Bridge In North Dakota Gets A New Look

The oldest bridge in North Dakota is about to get cleaned up.

The oldest bridge in North Dakota is about to get cleaned up. Thanks to some federal funding this project was able to get off the ground sooner than expected.

The lifting of the bridge started at 9 this morning and was set a few yards away from its original spot to refit.

It was an early morning for crews with On The Level Construction. This morning they had to make sure all the conditions were safe to move the Viking Bridge near Portland.

Sean Marshall/On The Level Construction:"We made sure we did out math and we were safe and kept a close eye on everything when we were picking it off the ground with the abutments we made sure we were centered and level we just made sure we made it as easy as a pick as possible. "

It took crews about an hour to move the bridge a few yards from its original position. The bridge was built in 1885 and the Cultural Resource department with the North Dakota DOT is spending 529 thousand dollars to preserve a bit of history.

Kris Bakkegard/KADRMAS, LEE & JACKSON ENGINEER"The state has been trying to find good examples of these types of bridges that we could save and rehabilitate and keep as some of the example of history of how the river crossings were done in a different generations from where were are today."

This 51 Thousand pound bridge behind me is the oldest bridge in the state and its about to get a modern makeover.

Robert Christensen/NDDOT Cultural Resources:"This is an opportunity to repair what's wrong with it, clean it up and put a good painting on it good foundation underneath it and it can serve its transportation purpose."

The money is coming from the North Dakota Transportation enhancement funds and stimulus money to preserve the state's oldest truss bridge for years to come.

Kris Bakkegard/KADRMAS, LEE & JACKSON ENGINEER:"It has really not had any work to it in the last 100 years so we anticipate very little will need to be done to this bridge for several, many years down the road."

The bridge is scheduled to be finished some time this fall.

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