Franklin Avenue Bridge restoration

County Road 5 in Minneapolis

Hennepin County is reconditioning the Franklin Avenue Bridge (County Road 5) in Minneapolis. The bridge spans West River Parkway and the Mississippi River. Crews will rehabilitate this historic structure during two construction seasons.

Start date

Spring 2015

Reopened to traffic

September 1, 2016

End date

Fall 2017

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Current work

Restoration work resumes Monday, March 20

Starting Monday, March 20, construction activity beneath the Franklin Avenue Bridge will resume.

Crews will start with moving barges, lifts and other construction equipment into place. During 2017, they will complete concrete restoration on the main span arches, complete watermain related work and paint the entire bridge structure.

The impacts to bridge users during this work is expected to be minimal. There are no long-term closures scheduled.

2016 work summary

During 2016, the Franklin Avenue Bridge was reconstructed. Accelerated bridge construction techniques were used so construction crews could remove and replace the entire bridge deck in just 17 weeks -- shortening the need for an extended closure and detour. Significant engineering and construction planning have resulted in a historically accurate, multi-modal bridge deck configuration that will serve bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists well into the future.

Motorists can now enjoy a brand new structural bridge deck across the Franklin Avenue Bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists are able to cross the bridge using the newly constructed -- and separated -- facilities.

finished deck at night

woman riding on bike with bike counter behind

Closures and traffic access

There may be intermittent road and trail closures as crews complete the remainder of the bridge restoration. Click above to sign up for project updates, including changes in access.

East River Parkway trail access

To allow for construction work, the Lower East River Parkway trail is closed between the “East River Flats” (University of Minnesota Boathouse) and Cecil Street. The Upper East Parkway trail remains open.

Bicycle and pedestrian trail access

Currently, the bicycle/pedestrian trail on the south side of the bridge is closed due to bridge structure painting along the southern half. As a result, bicyclists and pedestrians are detoured to the north side trail.

 

Once painting is completed along the southern half of the bridge in August, work will shift to the northern half. The north side trail will close and the south side trail will open. Signs will be available to guide pedestrians and bicyclists onto the open trail. Weather permitting, we expect this work to be complete in September.

 

Bicycle traffic

While bicyclists are allowed to use the road, we recommend bicyclists use the dedicated bicycle/pedestrian trail when crossing the bridge. Marked crosswalks are available at both ends of the bridge where bicyclists can cross to get to the open trail.

 

Impacts to boaters and recreational river users

All boaters and recreational users of the river should be mindful of the construction area and steer clear of the site.

Learn more

Crews are working to restore the bridge closer to the original 1923 designs. The new bridge deck incorporates safe, modern, multimodal features such as separated on-road bike lanes, walkways, overlook nooks and architectural lighting. The new design provides a non motorized crossing on the west end of the bridge. This is intended to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Project overview - August 2015 (PDF)

Construction timeline

The 2015 season included below deck concrete rehabilitation and manufacture of "precast" bridge deck panels that were placed during the 2016 bridge closure. These panels were made at a site, adjacent to the river, just south of the Washington Avenue Bridge. This allowed use of river transportation to float these panels down the river, and these segments were hoisted by water borne cranes into their final positions.

Crews also salvaged remnant piers from 1889.

During the 2016 construction season, the bridge was closed for complete deck removal and replacement.

Through fall of 2017, the contractor will complete bridge restoration activities, along with final tasks and clean up.

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