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Julien Dubuque Bridge Reopens Early

DUBUQUE, IA (AP) -- A key bridge over the Mississippi River has reopened several days ahead of schedule to ease commutes between Iowa and Illinois.   

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports the Julien Dubuque Bridge reopened Saturday after five-and-a-half days of repairs, so drivers will no longer be forced to take a ten mile detour into Wisconsin.   

The bridge closed last Monday, so its deck joints could be replaced. Workers had to remove part of the bridge to do the work.   

The contractor had 10 days to complete the job, but the state also offered $20,000 per day for each day ahead of schedule the $920,000 project was completed.   

Iowa Transportation Department officials say more work will be done on the piers underneath the bridge, but that work won't affect traffic.

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