Franklin Ave Bridge (County Road 5)

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. In 2016, the bridge will be closed to complete the work. 

Start date: Spring 2015

Bridge closure: May 8, 2016

Bridge reopen to traffic: Fall 2016

End date: Spring 2017

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Construction updates

April 2016

Cranes have been moved into place for deck removal and replacement work that will begin after the bridge closes to traffic on May 8. Crews continued to work through the past winter. The winter work included continuing the pier and arch repair and restoration that began last year. It was also a busy time for utility crews, as they relocated and updated their networks that currently run under the bridge.

Additional panels were cast in the yard at Bohemian Flats. More than 350 panels have been cast. These panels will be floated down the river and hoisted into place after the existing deck is removed.

view of bridge from river 

Moving cranes into place for deck removal and replacement (April 2016)

construction worker working on utility rack 

Crews working on relocating utilities this past winter

Detours, closures and other travel impacts

Closure and detours starting May 8 

The Franklin Avenue Bridge will close at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 8. This will allow for deck work to proceed. The bridge is scheduled to reopen to traffic Labor Day weekend. 

Detour map - effective May 8 (PDF)

West River Parkway roadway and trail closures

West River Parkway and trail has been closed north of the Franklin Avenue Bridge since June 2014 due to mudslide repair work that will be completed by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. More information about this work can be found on the park board website.

Extending the closure south of the bridge has allowed construction crews to continue work near the parkway and trail. A closure is also needed for the deck replacement work in 2016.   

The parkway detour is as follows:

  • Northbound West River Parkway
    • Closed north of Franklin Avenue bridge construction area
    • To eastbound Franklin Avenue: No change.
    • To westbound Franklin Avenue: Take East 25th Street to South 31st Avenue and take a right. Then take a left at Franklin Avenue.
  • Southbound West River Parkway
    • Open south of Franklin Avenue bridge construction area
    • From eastbound Franklin Avenue: No change.
    • From westbound Franklin Avenue: Take a left at South 31st Avenue. Take a left at East 25th Street. Then take a right on West River Parkway.

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 lanes on the bridge

Bicyclists and pedestrians will be routed along a side of the bridge deck. The side of the bridge deck may vary from time to time due to construction work. Bicyclists should use the on-road bike lane behind the concrete barriers that separate traffic from the work zone. Pedestrians will have a sidewalk for use. Bicyclists and pedestrians will need to follow signs for available access.

Lane diagram of bridge

Impacts to boaters and recreational river users

Crews have been working on concrete restoration to the bridge piers in cofferdams under Franklin Avenue Bridge in the Mississippi River. A cofferdam is a watertight construction barrier designed for construction in areas that are normally submerged, such as bridges and piers. All boaters and recreational users of the river should be mindful of the construction area and steer clear of the site.

Project background

Crews are working to restore the bridge closer to the original 1923 designs. The new bridge deck will incorporate safe, modern, multimodal features such as separated on-road bike lanes, walkways, overlook nooks and architectural lighting.

During fall of 2016 and spring of 2017, the contractor will complete bridge restoration activities, along with final tasks and clean-up.

Project overview - August 2015 (PDF)


The new concept provides a non motorized crossing on the west end of the bridge. Currently no crossing exists at this end. This is intended to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. See the document below for layout for the west end of the bridge. 

Bridge plan west end (PDF)

Construction timeline

The 2015 season will include below deck concrete rehabilitation. This work will require the installation of a working platform under the bridge. To attach this platform, workers will need to close the outer lanes of the bridge so that construction vehicles can have access to the underdeck and rehabilitation.

In 2015 the contractor will manufacture "precast" bridge deck panels that will be placed during the 2016 bridge closure. These panels will be made at a site, adjacent to the river, just south of the Washington Avenue Bridge. This will allow use of river transportation to float these panels down the river, and these segments will then be hoisted by water borne cranes into their final positions.

During the 2016 construction season, the bridge will be closed for complete deck removal and replacement. A marked detour will be provided during this closure. A detailed closure timeline will be provided before the actual closure.

Signed detours will be provided for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists during the bridge deck replacement. 

1889 remnant piers removed

Tuesday, June 23, 2015, Hennepin County Commissioner McLaughlin, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Vreeland, and Minnesota State Representative Kahn joined project staff for a river tour of the remnant piers.

During the tour, the elected officials accepted the concept of salvaging the 1889 remnant pier blocks and re-locating to the "Bohemian Flats" area within Minneapolis Park Board property on the western bank of the river. The salvaging process of the pier blocks was completed on June 24, 2015.

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