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The renovated Monroe Street Bridge awaits its grand reopening ceremony. The 2 1/2-year project has created a structure that's true to its original design.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2005
Nearly a century old, the Monroe Street Bridge reopens this weekend, sturdy enough to carry us for the next 75 years
» Amy Cannata/Staff writer

The Monroe Street Bridge has inspired artists and lovers, served as a dramatic backdrop for public declarations and private whispers, seen much death and even new life.

The mammoth, 94-year-old concrete Monroe Street Bridge has borne witness to Spokane history from the Roaring '20s, through the Great Depression, World War II, Expo '74 and beyond. But by the turn of the 21st century, years of spraying water and pounding traffic had battered the bridge to just a shadow of its former glory.

This weekend Spokane will celebrate the bridge's rebirth as it reopens after a 2-year restoration project that stripped the structure down to its bare bones and rebuilt it sturdy enough to last another 75 years.

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