Bridge Design Information

Artist Renderings
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Animation

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Artist Renderings

Artist renderings of the new Lowry Avenue Bridge are below. Click on the thumbnail image to see a larger version.

Aerial View
Road
 
Roadway Views
Road Road
Water Views
Water Water
   
Walkway Views
Walkway Walkway
   
Walkway Views
Walkway Walkway
   
Night Views
Night Night
   
Differing Views of Bridge Light Colors
LED LED
   
Differing Views of Bridge Light Colors
LED LED
Streetscape Park (Enlarged View from Streetscape)
History of the Lowry Avenue Bridge
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Since the early 1900s, Lowry Avenue has been a significant transportation corridor and neighborhood connection in Minneapolis.

In the early twentieth century, Minneapolis officials authorized the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River at Lowry Avenue. Completed in 1905, the bridge created one of the few streets in northern Minneapolis to span the width of the city. The 1905 bridge remained in service for 51 years until it became too weak to carry traffic.

In 1958, five new truss spans were built in this location using the same piers, which were raised 20 feet to allow navigation on the upper Mississippi River. For decades, this bridge has been an icon along the corridor and an anchor for the broader community.

As routine maintenance was completed in 2004, it was discovered that one of the bridge piers had shifted. Since then, Hennepin County has continually monitored the bridge to ensure its stability.

Surrounding Lowry Avenue, the banks of the Mississippi River are rooted with industrial land uses — historically, businesses have been drawn to the area because of the shallow west bank and connections to railroads. However, in the 1980s, riverfront revival became a focus for Minneapolis and the region, and the Mississippi River was recognized as a recreational amenity.

The bridge was closed in April 2008 (see the History section for more information).  Hennepin County and their partners evaluated how to replace the aging Lowry Avenue Bridge. The new bridge will improve traffic flow and pedestrian access.

Project Purpose
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The primary purpose of the Lowry Avenue Bridge Design Project was to develop a preferred design for the new bridge and approach roadways. Key issues that were addressed included:

  • Identifying the bridge type, design and appearance.
  • Determining whether the railroad bridge will be included in the reconstruction.
  • Establishing the roadway width and making provisions for pedestrians and bicycles.
  • Accommodating existing and future land use.
  • Assessing environmental impacts.
  • Determining project costs and funding.
Project Involvement
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Durings the design process, the following commitees and public were actively involved in input and review of the new design.

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

The TAC was the primary forum to discuss design, technical, policy, process, and funding issues. Members of the TAC included representatives of local and federal government, as well as agencies such as the DNR. It met twice a month during the preliminary design and environmental review phase of the project.

Project Advisory Committee (PAC)

The PAC provided a way to obtain community input. Appointed members included representatives from neighborhood organizations and businesses, appointees of the County Board and City Council, and agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers. It met as needed to provide direction and feedback on issues of public and private interest.

Public Information Meetings

Public meetings provided information about the project and ask for feedback from members of the community. Two public meetings were held in 2007, and an additional public meeting was held in 2008.

Reports
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Area Plans

Several area plans have included the Lowry Avenue Bridge and surrounding neighborhoods. These plans were studied to provide relevant information about the new Lowry Avenue Bridge.

Above the Falls-Phase I, West Bank (2006) PDF

Upper Harbor Terminal, Redevelopment Study (2004) PDF

Lowry Avenue Corridor Plan (2002) PDF

Above the Falls: A Master Plan for the Upper River in Minneapolis (1999) Link to Site

Study Area
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Study Area