Adobe Stock / klenger

Built between 1915 and 1918, the 3rd Avenue Bridge is the last major reinforced-concrete Melan arch bridge constructed in the Twin Cities and has an S-shaped alignment to avoid failures of limestone bedrock that occurred between 1869 and 1875. It was rehabilitated in 1939 and 1979. In the four decades since then, its condition has deterioriated, showing signs of compromised structural integrity and safety issues for the public.

As a contributing element to the St. Anthony Falls Industrial Historic District, the bridge is one of 24 Minneapolis DOT bridges selected for long-term preservation. Thus, a main goal of the agency's reconstruction project is to preserve its historic design elements. Plans include re-decking and rehabilitating to achieve a 50-year design life; adding barriers, railings, and lighting; and minor grading at the bridge approaches. The agency will also seek to minimize public inconvenience and environmental impacts during reconstruction of this downtown-Minneapolis artery.

FINLEY Engineering Group is Construction Management/General Contractor (CMGC) for the project as well as Ames' construction engineer. The two firms worked together on two other projects: the I-90 Dresbach Bridge and TH 43 Winona Bridge. Construction is anticipated to begin in fall 2019 and be completed in about three years.