Minneapolis takes advantage of Recovery funding to rehab Camden bridge

The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak approved on Aug. 28 the acceptance of $10 million in American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding to rehabilitate the Camden Bridge over the Mississippi River. The City of Minneapolis sought and received Recovery dollars for the Camden Bridge because of the impact the project will have on the region by creating jobs and modernizing public infrastructure. By using Recovery funding to complete the bridge work now, the bridge can be improved before it deteriorates further, which would necessitate a new bridge to be built at a cost well over $100 million.

The Camden Bridge rehabilitation is expected to begin in early 2010, and it is estimated that the project will create about 90 construction jobs once work begins. The work will add 35 years to the life of the bridge.

To minimize the amount of time people in the nearby neighborhoods will be affected by the closure, and to reduce the time traffic will be affected, the bridge will be completely closed during the work. A complete closure will allow crews to finish most of the bridge work in nine months, as opposed to the two years it would take if the bridge were intermittently opened and closed during work.

Planning for this rehab project began in 2004 but has been on hold because funding was not available. The Recovery Act is offering Minneapolis an opportunity to rehabilitate the bridge now, before further deterioration makes a rehab much more costly.

Built in 1975, the Camden Bridge is the 42nd Avenue North / 37th Avenue Northeast crossing over the Mississippi River and Interstate 94. The bridge has deteriorated to the point that it is need of repairs to maintain public safety. The current bridge has "fracture critical" pin and hanger connections which should be replaced. The traffic rails have deteriorated such that they require replacement.

The rehabilitation will include replacement of expansion joints, full deck replacement, a new drainage system, replacement of approach panels, crash railing, sidewalks, pedestrian railings, and repainting. The completed project will also save Minneapolis maintenance costs into the future. Currently, city crews spend approximately a month on deck patching and painting the bridge each year.

City leaders developed the Minneapolis Economic Recovery Strategy to seek federal funding that preserves and creates jobs and makes public investments that translate into a more competitive future for the people of Minneapolis and this entire region. For more information on the Minneapolis Economic Recovery Strategy, visit www.minneapolisrecovery.us .

Aug. 28, 2009

Published Aug. 28, 2009