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SIOUX CITY | Spanning from Iowa to Nebraska, the Veterans Memorial Bridge has served to connect the peoples of each state for more than 30 years.

The tied-arch bridge is part of U.S. Route 77, stretching across the Missouri River to connect Sioux City with South Sioux City. Serving as a primary route between the two cities, the bridge sees near-constant traffic.

On the north side of the river, Wesley Parkway leads onto the 1,502-foot span, connecting to Dakota Avenue on the south side. The bridge has four lanes for traffic and sidewalks for pedestrians.

Completed in 1981, the $28 million Veterans Memorial Bridge replaced the old Combination Bridge — a structure that had served the area with both road and rail transport for over 80 years.

Little more than a year after it opened, inspectors found a serious fracture in the bridge. A major component of the bridge failed to meet minimum strength requirements, requiring a fix to the problem.

The bridge was closed in 1982, from May 6 to Dec. 9, when two lanes were opened. The bridge wasn't completely opened until May 9, 1983.

More recently, the bridge benefited from a $400 million project to modernize Interstate 29. The construction improved the approaches on I-29 and Wesley Parkway to the bridge in 2013.

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