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Lowry Avenue Bridge

Hennepin County, Minnesota

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Construction Phase Services, Design



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Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography
Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography
Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography
Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography
Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography

T.Y. Lin International (TYLI) and SRF Consulting Group provided preliminary and final bridge design and engineering services and construction phase support services for the Lowry Avenue Bridge Replacement project. For the design, TYLI was responsible for the preliminary/type selection of the new bridge structure and final PS&E documents.

The new tied arch bridge, with a main span length of 450 feet and a total length of 900 feet, crosses the Mississippi River upstream of downtown Minneapolis, MN. The old bridge, an aging truss structure built in the 1950’s, posed a significant problem when one of the original piers was found to have tilted 11 inches off center and needed repair.

Because the Lowry Avenue Bridge is an important transportation corridor for Minneapolis residents, Hennepin County decided to replace the older historic structure in order to provide a safe and functional connection to this area of the city. During the preliminary design phase, the team conducted several studies concurrent to the bridge type selection study, utilizing a Project Advisory Committee and a Technical Advisory Committee comprising consultants, transportation officials, and community leaders.

The proposed preliminary bridge plan, which was designed to Minnesota Department of Transportation bridge standards, presented seven alternatives, including two cable-stayed, two arches, steel girder, steel box, and concrete box bridges. The final selection of a basket-handle steel arch bridge was then designed to keep construction costs to a minimum.

Project Highlights:

  • The winning bid of $52 million was 25% below the estimate.
  • TYLI’s knowledge of constructability practices enabled the team to successfully plan and design the project around significant construction challenges, including clearing a major shipping channel in the Mississippi River and breaking up the project into phases to accommodate funding issues.
  • The successful design and construction of the aesthetically pleasing waterborne piers was also the most technically challenging aspect of the project, as well as the development of redundant solutions for replaceable ties for the arch structure.
  • Visually-appealing architectural treatments were included for the arch ribs, piers, and overlook.
Top 10 Bridges, 2013
Roads and Bridges
National Honor Award, 2013
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Environmental Excellence Award in Wetlands, Watersheds & Water Quality Category, 2013
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Engineering Excellence Awards, Grand Award, 2013
American Council of Engineering Companies Minnesota (ACEC/MN)
Seven Wonders of Engineering Award, 2013
Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers (MnSPE)
First Place in Transportation, 2012
Minnesota Concrete Council (MCC)
Top Project of 2012
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