The troubled Lowry Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis will be imploded on June 21st to make way for new construction of a replacement bridge.
Hennepin County engineers ordered the landmark bridge closed in April 2008 due to structural problems with one of the bridge's piers. In 2004, bridge engineers discovered that one of the piers had rotated 11 inches out of vertical alignment. Further rotation of the pier led engineers to conclude that the bridge posed an unacceptable risk to the traveling public.
The bridge spans the Mississippi River, connecting north and northeast Minneapolis. The structure, built in 1905, was last substantially renovated in 1958.
The explosion will take place at 9 a.m. Residents can expect to hear a loud boom. "Don't be scared," Cara Lee, Hennepin County Public Affairs spokesperson said. "It's just part of what's going on that morning at the implosion site."
Several blocks will be closed from about 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. The Lowry Ave. road closure will expand to include Lowry Ave. N from N. 2nd St. to Grand St. NE. Marshall St. NE will close from 23rd Ave. NE to 26th Ave. NE.
County officials are requesting that spectators stay away from the demolition site. Given the location, visitors will have limited visibility.
Construction for the new bridge will begin in the fall and is expected to be completed in about two years, according to Paul Backer, the project engineer. The new bridge will include a separate bicycle and pedestrian path. The County Board approved the Lowry Avenue Bridge replacement project as a state bonding request in 2006.
Funding sources for the project include Hennepin County bonds, state bridge bonds, a $475,000 federal appropriation granted in March, and $10 million in federal stimulus funding.