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

Maintenance work to impact traffic at Franklin Avenue Bridge on Thursday, October 12

Starting at around 9 a.m., Thursday, October 12, weather permitting, maintenance work will begin on traffic railings at Franklin Avenue Bridge (County Road 5) over the Mississippi River. Protective coating will be painted to preserve the life of the railings.

One lane for all traffic

As a result of this work, both directions of traffic will be reduced to a single lane. Flaggers and temporary traffic control will guide motorists through the bridge.

This work is expected to be complete by late afternoon. However, if an additional day is needed to complete the work, crews will begin at around 9 a.m., Friday, October 13, until work is completed.

Please exercise caution and expect delays as you travel through the area. Due to the nature of this work and the weather, the exact start and finish dates may vary.

Northern bicycle and pedestrian lanes closed until mid-October

On Monday morning, October 2, crews will close the northern bicycle and pedestrian lanes to continue painting the underside of the bridge. 

Bridge users can cross the bridge on the southern bicycle and pedestrian lanes while the northern lanes are closed.

Weather permitting, the northern bicycle and pedestrian lanes are expected to reopen in mid-October, when major restoration work on the bridge comes to an end.

Project 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.

In 2017, crews are completing concrete restoration work under the bridge deck, and finalizing painting to protect and preserve the bridge.

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.

Short-term West River Parkway closure starts Tuesday, September 12

Between early Tuesday, September 12 and late Thursday, September 14, West River Parkway will be closed under the Franklin Avenue bridge (County Road 5), affecting both parkway and trail traffic.

This closure is necessary for crews to clean and paint the bridge, as the restoration and reconstruction project is expected to wrap up work in a few weeks.

During the closure, signage will be provided for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians using the parkway and trails.

The timing of closures and reopening is subject to change based on weather conditions. 

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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