SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The City of Sacramento made a big announcement Wednesday about the replacement of the I Street Bridge. San Francisco-based architecture firm, T. Y. Lin International has been selected to design and build the new bridge.

Sacramento Mayor Derrel Steinberg said this project has been a long time coming and that this will be the first bridge in over 50 years to cross the Sacramento River.

“The I Street bridge has been a workhorse bridge since 1911 and it was designed when the widest car was the Model T. There were no big buses. It’s just not meeting the needs of today,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.

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The replacement for the I Street bridge will be built between the Sacramento Railways and a planned development in West Sacramento near C Street. The project is estimated to cost $172 million, 88 percent of the funding will come from the federal government.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui said the newly selected architect, T. Y. Lin International, understands the heritage and history of the original bridge, which is over 100 years old.

“When you think about the great cities in the world like Paris, London and New York, Washington DC, they have a river flowing through it, and they have the bridges that cross it, which all of a sudden become iconic to the city itself. We are a river city and we intend to be that way too,” Matsui said.

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Delivering a 21st-century bridge is a tall order. City leaders said environmental concerns, transportation needs, a changing waterfront, and technology were all taken into consideration.

“The new bridge will be fully modern, beautiful, iconic structure that will really activate the waterfront and also make it easy to get around for folks whether you’re in a stroller, a wheelchair or in a car,” Cabaldon said.

Construction of the new bridge is expected to be complete by 2022.

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