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. 

Start date: Spring 2015

Reopened to traffic: September 1, 2016

End date: Spring 2017

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Construction updates

September 1, 2016

The Franklin Avenue Bridge reopened to traffic this afternoon. Pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles can all use the bridge to cross the Mississippi River again. 

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. 

While a majority of the work above deck is done, please understand that crews will continue work periodically within one side of the bicycle and pedestrian lanes through the fall. This is to allow under deck restoration efforts to continue. 

We appreciate the patience and cooperation of all -- particularly the local neighborhoods and regular users of the bridge. We understand the challenges of the detour and extended work hours during the accelerated schedule.

railing

A view of the north side bike and pedestrian lanes, separated from the motor vehicle traffic. The layout is repeated on the other side of the bridge. The outer railings are also vertically-oriented, like the ones of the original bridge. And, reproductions of historic lights have been added. 

traffic lanes

A view of the motor vehicle lanes

intersection

A look from the bridge deck, approaching the intersection of East River Parkway

bike lane

A photo of the western approach with the painted bike lane. A traffic delineator is being installed in this picture. 

Detours, closures and other travel impacts

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.

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.

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)

Changes

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 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.

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