MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are just 25 days to go until Super Bowl LII transforms Minneapolis into a testament of the “Bold North.”
One of those features is a bridge, but not just any bridge.
Part of the American Birkebeiner International Bridge rolled into downtown Minneapolis Tuesday morning. It’s not unusual to see a parade of semi trucks downtown, but this particular convoy was part of a special mission.
“It’s a 200-foot bridge, and this is the first time that it is being transported from Hayward, Wisconsin to Minnesota for use at Super Bowl Live,” said Michael Howard, communications director for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.
The largest cross-country ski race in the country takes place every year right across the border.
The American Birkebeiner draws more than 13,000 athletes to the north woods, and every single one of them skis over the International Bridge.
“We’re so excited to see a couple days of semi trucks rolling in with the Birkie Bridge,” Howard said.
A true icon of the north is now fulfilling a new role.
“The bridge will be setup on Nicollet Mall over 9th Street, so cars will be able to pass under 9th Street,” he said. “So if you can imagine this on Nicollet Mall, this will be a very large piece of our Super Bowl Live Festival and one of the key attractions.”
It will show off what northerners do best.
“There will be all kinds of programming and winter sports. Skijoring, fat-tire bike racing, cross-country skiing and opportunities for our Super Bowl Live visitors to really get a flavor of winter in the Bold North,” Howard said. “And that’s why we’re showcasing that we as Minnesotans enjoy winter, are ready to saddle up and have a good time outside.”
And, in true Minnesota-fashion, fingers are crossed for some snow.
“We hope for a little bit of snow to enjoy during the 10-day Super Bowl festival, and the Birke Bridge will be a centerpiece of that attraction,” he said.
Re-construction of the bridge is planned for this weekend. Organizers say it should take about two days before the bridge is ready to go.