Lowry Ave bridge to be imploded Sunday

East bank of the Lowry Avenue Bridge
A view of the Lowry Avenue bridge from the east bank of the Mississippi River.
MPR Photo/Tim Nelson

Crews will implode the Lowry Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis this Sunday morning.

Officials closed the bridge in April 2008, after tests showed the foundation of the 1905 bridge was not stable.

Project Engineer Paul Backer said crews have done a lot of work to get the bridge ready for this weekend's implosion. He said workers have taken down light poles and broken up sidewalks on the bridge.

Artist renderings of the new Lowry Avenue Bridge
Artist renderings of the new Lowry Avenue Bridge.
Image courtesy of Hennepin County

"...And also pre-weakening certain structural members of the bridge," Backer said. "And then putting charges at key critical points that will basically severe the steel and cause the existing truss bridge to fall, by gravity, into the river."

Backer said people who live nearby are being asked to stay in their homes from 8 to 9 o'clock Sunday morning. He said there is not a good place for the public to gather to get a view of the bridge implosion.

"Unfortunately due to the curvature of the river and the tree line and the nature of the shore of the river, and the private homes and businesses--there is not a lot of very good public viewing of the event," Backer said. "That's unless you were on the river itself."

The new bridge will take about two years to complete. Federal funds - including $10 million dollars in stimulus money - will pay for part of the project.

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