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The main span of a 585-foot-long skyway that will connect Mercy Hospital and a new medical office building across Coon Rapids Boulevard has been installed in Coon Rapids.

There's not a lot of competition, but it will be the longest enclosed pedestrian bridge in Anoka County. The privately funded $4.5 million, climate-controlled skyway will carry doctors, patients and supplies between the hospital and the new building, which is expected to open by spring, said Mercy owner Allina Health System.

The 160-foot central span was swung into place above the four-lane boulevard Saturday. The segments on each side were already in place.

Project manager Ross Nelson of Kraus-Anderson Construction said the two sides of the central span were hoisted separately onto concrete piers, then bolted together with cross beams. The segments on both ends extend from the piers into the buildings.

Currently, the longest skyway in the county is in Ramsey, extending about 200 feet from a parking ramp across a street and railroad tracks at the Northstar Station.

Jim Adams