Construction on West Broadway Ave. Bridges Begins in the Spring
Hennepin County is finalizing design plans to replace the West Broadway Avenue bridges that connect Minneapolis and Robbinsdale, near North Memorial Health Hospital.
The county deemed the three bridges on County Road 81 as structurally deficient because of how old they are. The bridges, which date back to the 1960s, will be replaced with a similar look. However, the intersections below the bridges, Lowery Avenue and Theodore Wirth Parkway, will change.
The county recently shifted traffic from the southbound West Broadway Avenue bridge to the northbound bridge. The northbound bridge was restriped to a single lane in each direction. The realignment will remain in place until the bridge is replaced.
The county held more than 20 community engagement events. John Ekola, a senior professional engineer with Hennepin County said the community concern was overwhelmingly about the safety of the intersection.
“With the current layout, the three bridges have ten structural columns which can produce blind spots which is concerning for vehicles, pedestrians and ambulances going through. Now pedestrians are expecting to cross five lanes of traffic, which is a long distance for them to be exposed to vehicular traffic,” explained Ekola.
The new design plan includes shortening intersection crosswalks, redesigning ramp connections allowing for improved sight distance and safer merging, and improving trail connections.
The total cost of the project will be about $20 million. The construction is scheduled to start in Spring and take about two years to complete.