Two statues have debuted on Minnesota's new Interstate 35W Bridge that are shaped to look like the international cartographic symbol for water. Why? Besides mimicking the look of the Mississippi River as it passes through Minneapolis, the new sculptures are made from a type of concrete that is photocatalytic, meaning they will be able to convert gases like carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide to higher oxidized states, making them less damaging to the environment. Another benefit of the new concrete mixture is that it never looks old as it maintains a white oxidized color on its outer skin.

The opening of the new I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge also has a deeper meaning, since it replaces the one that tragically collapsed about a year ago from a structural failure. The new one was erected so fast because the original was used by over 140,000 cars per day. Despite how quickly it was built, the new bridge has a 100-year life span, supports ten lanes of traffic thanks to an extra 76 feet of width, and has shoulders on both sides where the old one didn't – not to mention it cleans the air with art. Thanks for the tip, Terry!

[Source: KTSP / Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune]

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