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Lowry Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis Opens to Traffic

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The Lowry Avenue Bridge, designed by T.Y. Lin International (TYLI) and SRF Consulting Group, Inc., has officially opened to traffic. The grand opening for the bridge was held on Saturday, October 27, 2012, to great fanfare. A ribbon cutting was conducted as well as performances by marching bands and a ceremonial parade across the bridge.

The Lowry Avenue Bridge is an important transportation corridor and neighborhood connection in Minneapolis. Hennepin County began the design process for this critical bridge replacement in 2007. The old bridge was closed in 2008 due to known structural issues and demolished in June 2009. The new tied arch bridge, whose main span length is 450 feet and total length is 900 feet, crosses the Mississippi River upstream from downtown Minneapolis.

The SRF/TYLI Team conducted for the owner of the bridge, Hennepin County, several studies concurrent to the bridge type selection study, consulting with advisory committees who were comprised of community leaders, county and transportation officials, and consultants. The proposed preliminary bridge plan originated from seven alternatives including two cable-stayed, two arches, steel girder, steel box, and concrete box bridges.

The team then assisted the Owner in the final selection of a basket-handle steel arch bridge type, which was designed to keep construction costs to a minimum and further provided the county with assistance during the construction phase. The team’s thorough understanding of constructability practices enabled them to successfully plan and design the project around construction challenges, including clearing a major shipping channel in the Mississippi River and breaking up the project into phases to accommodate funding issues.

TYLI Project Director, Mirek Olmer, praised the teamwork of the community and Hennepin County and their ability to work together toward a common vision. “The excellence of the project came from a common commitment, resulting in a signature structure that we can all be proud of and that people will enjoy for decades to come.”