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After 3 years of construction, Minneapolis's Third Avenue bridge is back open

An important corridor to and from downtown Minneapolis is once again open.
An important corridor to and from downtown Minneapolis is once again open 02:05

MINNEAPOLIS — An important corridor to and from downtown Minneapolis is once again open.

After more than three years of construction, the Third Avenue bridge officially reopened to the public on Saturday. A celebration with the public marked the reopening.

"Dedicated crews made major repairs to the deck, the spandrel columns, the arches, the piers and the foundations, pretty much every part of the bridge," said MNDOT Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger. "And since we've also included new lighting for safety, you'll be able to marvel at the beauty day and night."

Reconstruction of the 105 year old bridge started in May of 2020, with the bridge closing to the public the following January. 

"I've lived down here like for about three years. And so I've watched it. And it's just
spectacular. It's just wonderful. I'm just so excited to walk across it," said Minneapolis resident Mary.

" We moved in right when they close the bridge, so we have not been able to enjoy it while living here," says resident Bill Gengler. "So we're really looking forward to seeing it here open and driving on it."

The bridge was supposed to reopen in November of last year, but additional safety improvements pushed that back.

"I think it's great that it's finally open. I'm a runner. I like to run from one side of the city to the other side. And it's great that the bridge accommodates cars and pedestrians and bikes and it's beautiful," said Jo Vos of Minneapolis.

But as one bridge opens, another prepares for closure. Next spring, it will be the stone arch bridge taking years off for repair.

"That's a really popular bridge. So I think there will be more and more pedestrian and biker and dog traffic on this bridge when the when the other one goes out."

Construction on the Stone Arch Bridge is set to start in the spring and expected to last two years. Half of the bridge will be under construction next summer, and the other half the summer after that. The Third Avenue Bridge will be the detour route for Stone Arch.  

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