Greenway bridges

Portland Avenue (County Road 35) and Cedar Avenue (County Road 152) Midtown Greenway bridges reconstruction projects 

Hennepin County is reconstructing the Portland Avenue (County Road 35) and Cedar Avenue (County Road 152) bridges over the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis in 2017.

Reconstruction is needed to address safety and structural issues due to the age of the bridges. Both of the century-old bridges will be reconstructed in their original historic style, and receive design and functional improvements.

Work is expected to take place over one construction season, beginning in early spring 2017.

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Construction updates

Updated June 9, 2017

Trail open at Cedar Avenue

As of 2 pm today, the Midtown Greenway trail has reopened at the Cedar Avenue (County Road 152) bridge location. The trail was closed at this location since Monday for crews to work on watermain pipes crossing the trail.

This work involved installing new watermain pipes to replace the seasonal pipes that were previously suspended beneath the old bridge deck. Crews will continue with watermain work next week at this location, moving up the north slope of the corridor. This work should have minimal impact on trail users.

This is expected to be the last major trail closure at Cedar Avenue until later this summer.

The trail also remains open at Portland Avenue.

Trail conditions

Moving forward, the trail will be reduced to 10 feet at this location. It will also be shifted to the south side of the corridor for the time being.

The trail surface now has temporary pavement. This makes it safer, compared to gravel, for people using rollerblades, skateboards or similar recreational equipment with smaller wheels. But, trail users should still use caution while traveling on this segment of the trail. Temporary pavement conditions may not be as smooth as other parts of the path.

Foundation and pier work at Portland Avenue

Crews continued installing parts of the foundation for the new bridge at Portland Avenue (County Road 35) this week. Crews are using specialized techniques for this work to avoid hammering and other activity that may cause vibrations that could impact adjacent properties.

Crews also started preparing to construct the bridge piers (vertical supports) this week at Portland. Crews have already completed the first pier for Cedar Avenue bridge.

The piers for both bridges were designed to be adaptable. The appearance of the piers will match the historic architecture of the other bridges in the corridor. However, they are not needed to support the structure of the bridge and can be removed to accommodate possible future transit use along the corridor.

Detour refinements

As the reconstruction of both bridges at Portland and Cedar avenues enters its second month, traffic patterns are settling in and congestion has begun to ease.

Crews have made a number of refinements to detour signage, barricades, and other traffic control measures to improve traffic flow and safety around the construction area.

We will continue to observe traffic patterns and safety conditions throughout the project, making adjustments, as needed.

We welcome productive feedback and encourage you to contact the project with input or observations.

Detours, closures and travel considerations

Updated June 2017

Both Portland and Cedar Avenues are closed to all traffic between 28th Street and Lake Street for the reconstruction of the bridges over the Midtown Greenway. These routes will be closed until the end of construction later this fall.

Trail impacts will be minimized whenever possible, but occasional closures, detours and other impacts should be expected throughout 2017. Work impacting trail users will generally be staggered to avoid simultaneous closures at both locations, and weekend closures of the trail will be avoided, whenever possible.

Upcoming greenway trail closures

All trail closure dates are estimates and subject to change.

  • The Greenway trail is currently open at both bridge locations
  • The next trail closure will occur at Portland Avenue in several weeks for crews to install watermain pipes crossing the trail. An exact date is not yet known, but will be posted as soon as it is determined.

Portland Avenue bridge detours

Trail

  • Park Avenue (existing bike lane for southbound, temporary contraflow bike lane for northbound)
  • East 28th Street (temporary two-way protected bike lane on south side of street)
  • 5th Avenue South (shared roadway use)

Road (motor vehicles)

  • Franklin Avenue (County Road 5)
  • Chicago Avenue South
  • Lake Street (County Road 3)

Road (bikes)

  • East 28th Street
  • 4th Avenue South
  • East 32nd Street

Portland detour graphics (PDF)

Cedar Avenue bridge detours

Trail

  • 18th Avenue South (shared roadway use)
  • East 28th Street (temporary two-way protected bike lane on south side of street)

Road

  • Lake Street (County Road 3)
  • Hiawatha Avenue (Highway 55)

Cedar detour graphics (PDF)

Project information

Hennepin County is reconstructing the Portland Avenue and Cedar Avenue bridges over the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis in 2017. To minimize impacts on trail and road users, reconstruction work will occur on both bridges simultaneously and major closures will be coordinated between the two projects when possible.

Reconstruction of the bridges is needed to address safety and structural issues due to the age of the bridges.

Portland Avenue layout (PDF)

Cedar Avenue layout (PDF)

Design changes

During reconstruction, improvements will be made to the design and function of the bridges, while maintaining their historic architectural styles.

Portland Avenue planned improvements

  • Widening sidewalk on bridge deck from eight to 10 feet
  • Changing traffic lanes from three ten-foot through lanes to two 13-foot through lanes
  • Adding a three-foot buffer to the existing 6-foot bike lane
  • Adaptable design to accommodate possible future transit infrastructure

Portland Avenue bridge cross section (PDF)

Cedar Avenue planned improvements

  • Widening sidewalk on bridge deck from eight to 10 feet
  • Changing traffic lanes from four 10-foot lane through lanes to two 11-foot through lanes and two 13-foot through lanes
  • Adding structural reinforcements beneath the bridge deck to extend longevity
  • Adaptable design to accommodate possible future transit infrastructure

Cedar Ave bridge cross section (PDF)

Construction Timeline

Construction work is expected to begin in early spring 2017 and last through fall 2017.

Public involvement

Upcoming engagement activities

There are no upcoming engagement activities scheduled at this time.

Past public engagement activities

  • Project staff presented plans for the Cedar and Portland bridge reconstructions at the Midtown Philips neighborhood meeting on March 28, 2017. The meeting was held at Abubakar As Saddique Islamic Center.
  • Community open house on Wednesday February 15, 2017 at the Midtown Greenway Coalition offices.
  • Project staff presented plans for the Cedar Avenue bridge reconstruction at the East Phillips Improvement Coalition neighborhood meeting on February 9, 2017. The meeting was held at East Philips Park Cultural and Community Center.
  • Project open house on August 24, 2016 at the Midtown Greenway Coalition offices  to present preliminary designs and gather public feedback.
  • A "pop-up" meeting held on the Greenway on August 31, 2016 to present preliminary designs and gather public feedback.

Open House and "pop-up" meeting presentation boards (PDF)

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