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 and lasting through the end of construction season in the fall - likely towards the end of November.

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Construction updates

Updated August 1, 2017 

Abutments near completion at Cedar Avenue

Crews poured the north abutment for the new Cedar Avenue (County Road 152) bridge this week. An abutment is the structure at either end of the bridge that supports the weight of the bridge structure and traffic on top. Holes are drilled 50 feet into the ground, then pile are inserted to secure each abutment.

Next week, crews expect to pour the south abutment at Cedar, as well. This will mark a major milestone for the Cedar Avenue bridge. Next, crews will complete the construction of the piers at Cedar. These piers will be non-load bearing and may be removed to accommodate possible future transit use along the corridor.

Following completion of the piers, beams will be set across the trail, which will eventually connect to the bridge deck.

Piers complete at Portland Avenue, Work progressing on abutments

Both the north and south piers for the Portland Avenue (County Road 35) bridge are now complete, and work is underway on the abutments. Crews have completed the piling on the south abutment already and are continuing with this work on the north side. 

Rather than fully reconstructing the abutments at Portland, as they did at Cedar, crews will instead renovate much of the existing concrete structures after piling for the new supports is complete. 

MnDOT I-35W/Lake Street project set to begin in August

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will begin work in mid to late August on a multi-year reconstruction of I-35W between 42nd Street and downtown Minneapolis. As some of this work may impact similar routes as the Portland and Cedar Avenue greenway bridges work, we want to help you track the project and plan ahead.  

This multi-year project begins in 2017 with work on the Portland Avenue bridge over I-94 and Franklin Avenue bridge over I-35W. For the first six to eight weeks, the Portland Avenue bridge and the I-94 exit ramp to 11th Street will be closed. 

The Franklin Avenue bridge work that starts this fall will continue through spring and require closing Franklin Avenue between Clinton and Portland avenues. Additionally, 4th and 5th avenues between 22nd Street and I-94 (18th Street) will be closed and reconstructed while the Franklin bridge is closed.

Detours are still being finalized and Hennepin County staff are working with MnDOT staff to coordinate routes to keep traffic moving through the area as efficiently as possible. 

The full reconstruction project, which is expected to be complete in 2021, will include better transit connections with a modern transit station at I-35W and Lake Street, and improved connections to Lake Street. Other project features include: 

  • Improving traffic flow and congestion 
  • Enhancing mobility for all road users 
  • Better accessibility and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists on local streets 
  • Improving the life, safety and sustainability of the road with new pavement

Hennepin County, MnDOT, Metro Transit and the City of Minneapolis have been in active communication to keep the public informed of construction activities and resources. There is also active ongoing outreach and ways to contact the project with any questions.

Visit the MnDOT project website to learn more

 

Detours, closures and travel considerations

Updated August 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 the coming 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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