Plymouth Avenue Bridge set for repairs this summer

Repairs to the Plymouth Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River will begin this July, and the bridge is expected to reopen to vehicle traffic in mid-October. The City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee heard an update today on the project, which will be done in two phases, the first this year, and the second in 2013. Once the bridge reopens this fall, it will remain open throughout next year’s work, with some lane restrictions. The bridge will close to bikes and pedestrian during this year’s construction, but will be accessible during next year’s work.

The Plymouth Avenue Bridge was closed in October 2010 after the bridge was found to have significant deterioration in its post-tensioning tendons, which are cables that run inside the bridge. An analysis concluded that the bridge could re-open to pedestrian and bike traffic, but would need to continue to be closed to motor vehicle traffic. The City has secured $6 million in state funding to complete the repairs.

This summer’s construction work will focus on the bridge’s center span. Crews will remove deteriorating concrete and replace it, and they will replace the corroded cables. Once that span is repaired, the bridge can reopen to traffic. The bridge’s other spans will be repaired in 2013, however, the bridge will not need to be closed to traffic during those repairs.

The Plymouth Avenue Bridge opened in 1982, and before its closure, it carried more than 14,000 vehicles a day. That traffic has since moved to other river crossings, including the Broadway Avenue Bridge and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.

Published Apr. 17, 2012