Project History

Bridge Demolition
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Video of Bridge Implosion

Video taken June 21, 2009.
Video Credit: Hennepin County Public Affairs. Click the Play button to start the video.

Photos of Bridge Implosion

Photos taken June 21, 2009.
Photo Credit: Hennepin County Public Affairs.
Click on a thumbnail to see the full-size image.

View from High Rise, Pre-Implosion View From Water, Implosion
Implosion Implosion
   
View from High Rise, Implosion View From Water, Implosion
Implosion Implosion
   
View from High Rise, Post-Implosion View From Water, Implosion
Implosion Implosion
   
View From Water, Implosion View From Water, Post-Implosion
Implosion Implosion
   
View From Water, Post-Implosion View From Water, Post-Implosion
Implosion Implosion
   
View From Water, Post-Implosion View From Water, Post-Implosion
Implosion Implosion

 

Photos of Bridge Removal

Photos taken April 17, 2009.

Deck removal.


Removing beam.


Lifting beam from deck.

Phase 1 Design Public Meetings
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April 7, 2009 Open House

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Place: East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second Street Northeast, Minneapolis

This open house provided information on the bridge removal and an update on the current status of the project. The construction project engineer was available to answer questions. Information presented included bridge removal, schedule, and other project information.

Presentation Materials PDF
Display Boards PDF

February 25, 2008 Open House

Date: Monday, February 25, 2008
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 pm (with a short presentation at 6:30 p.m.)
Place: East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second Street Northeast, Minneapolis

This open house provided an update on the current status of the project. Information presented included bridge renderings, project schedule, and next steps. Attendees had an opportunity to provide feedback during informal discussions.

Presentation Materials  PDF

October 16, 2007 Open House

Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Place: East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second Street Northeast, Minneapolis

The second open house was held on October 16, 2007. Information presented included conceptual renderings of proposed designs for the replacement Lowry Avenue Bridge. Presentation material, images of the proposed designs, and a survey from the meeting are provided below.

Presentation Materials PDF
Survey PDF

August 21, 2007 Open House

Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Place: North Regional Library, Minneapolis

The first public open house was held on August 21, 2007. Information presented about the project included possible bridge types, project schedule, and next steps. Presentation material, a handout, and a survey from the meeting are provided below.

Presentation Materials PDF
Handout PDF
Survey PDF

Surveys About Proposed Designs

Two surveys to gather public input were conducted. The first survey, which gathered information and ideas for the new bridge, was distributed at the August 21, 2007 open house. The second survey, which gathered feedback on five proposed bridge types, was distributed at the October 16, 2007 open house.

Phase 1 Design Press Releases and News
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Lowry Avenue Bridge removal implosion on June 21

June 10, 2009

Hennepin County issued a press release on June 10, 2009, containing the following information:

The Lowry Avenue Bridge, a Minneapolis landmark since 1905, will be removed by implosion at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 21. The current structure, which has been closed since April 2008, must be removed before construction can begin on the replacement bridge this fall.

Due to lack of structural integrity, imploding the current structure is the safest option available to workers, and results in minimal disruption to the environment and river navigation. The implosion will sever what remains of the steel trusses, dropping them into the river; residents should expect to hear a loud, deep, boom-like sound.

Preliminary dismantling already has taken place. The county plans to salvage, recycle or reuse more than 90 tons of steel and other related items. Implosion contractor Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc. has designated a 1,000 ft. horizontal (land) and 1,000 ft. vertical (air) safety zone because of expected air pressure vibrations. This area will need to be vacated the morning of the implosion.

The Lowry Avenue N. road closure will expand to include from N. 2nd Street to Grand Street NE, and Marshall Street NE will close from 23rd Avenue NE to 26th Avenue NE with a signed detour, the morning of June 21. The industrial zoning of the neighborhood and heavy tree line along the Mississippi River shore means there is limited-to-zero visibility for the public of the implosion site.

Bridge removal contractor Carl Bolander & Sons Co. of St. Paul will clear the main navigation channel within 24 hours following the implosion. All of the steel is scheduled for removal from the river bed within one week. If mechanical removal of the piers fails, a second implosion may be needed in mid-July.

A 32-inch diameter, 175-foot-long test piling will be installed at the end of June, after the river bed is cleared. The piling will jut approximately 10 feet out of the water, and be marked according to United States Coast Guard standards. This pile will be tested the end of July in order to confirm foundational requirements for new bridge designer T.Y. Lin International.

The county is coordinating with the following agencies throughout the demolition process: the Department of Natural Resources, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Minneapolis Fire Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Hennepin County engineers, in consultation with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, determined it was necessary to close the bridge last April due to continued structural issues with one of the bridge piers. In 2004, bridge engineers discovered Pier 3 had rotated 11 inches out of vertical alignment. Further rotation of the pier introduced an unacceptable risk to the traveling public.

The Lowry Avenue Bridge carries Hennepin County State Aid Highway 153 over the Mississippi River between north and northeast Minneapolis. The bridge, built in 1905, was substantially renovated in 1958.

The County Board approved the Lowry Avenue Bridge replacement project as its No. 1 state bonding request in summer 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.

Fact Sheet (PDF) pdf
Press release (PDF) pdf

County issues Negative Declaration on the Need for an Environmental Impact Statement

March 9, 2009

Comments on the Environmental Assessment Worksheet were accepted through January 28, 2009. Following review of the comments, Hennepin County issued a Negative Declaration on the Need for an Environmental Impact Statement on March 9, 2009.

Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) Comment Period Through January 28, 2009

January 6, 2009

The state Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) was completed and made available for comment. The 30 day review period extended through January 28, 2009.

Lowry Avenue Bridge Closed - April 25, 2008

Supplementary Information

  • PDF of Powerpoint presentation with information on why the bridge is being closed PDF
  • Map of detour route - Link (jpg) will open in a new window

Press Releases

June 10, 2009 Press Release

Lowry Avenue Bridge removal implosion on June 21 PDF  pdf

March 25, 2009 Press Release

Lowry Avenue Bridge removal begins; Open House April 7 PDF

April 25, 2008 Press Release

Lowry Avenue Bridge Closed PDF

February 26, 2008 Press Release

Lowry Avenue Bridge closed for inspection Feb. 28 PDF

September 27, 2007 Press Release

October 16, 2007 Open House PDF
More about our Open Houses

September 10, 2007 Press Release

Bridge Inspection PDF

August 6, 2007 Press Release

August 21, 2007 Open House PDF