Bikes and the New Lowry Avenue Bridge

Photo by Jeffrey Martin

The Lowry Avenue Bridge is scheduled to be completed later this year, reopening a major artery in and out of Northeast Minneapolis.  The original bridge built in 1905 was deemed structurally deficient and demolished in 2008 (check out video of the bridge blow-up action here).

The new bridge has gone through several revisions, some changes due to design, some thanks to ballooning costs (now at $92.7 million).  The latter of the two (cost issues) was the cause of shrinking the overall size of the deck by 10 feet, saving almost $10 million.  This shrinking also cost the standard 6 foot bike lane from being added in both directions, but luckily thanks to the work of the Minneapolis Bike Coalition cyclists aren’t losing dedicated space entirely.

The bridge will now feature five feet of marked bike lanes as well as dropped curbs (allowing cyclists to easily move on and off the sidewalks) in both traffic directions.  While this isn’t a perfect situation, we applaud (and thank) the City of Minneapolis and the MBC for working so hard to come to a cost-effective and inclusive outcome.

If you want to read more about the bridge, check out the Star Tribune Article and the Project webpage.

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