Regarding Lafayette

lafayette_bridge_may29.jpg

MnDOT had an open house this morning for people who wanted to stop in and ask questions about the plans to replace the Highway 52 Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul. (I wrote about it here last week) Two of us did.

A couple of factoids courtesy of Chris Roy, the North Metro Area Manager for MnDOT:

  • The bridge will not be closed during construction. A new span will be built next to the existing bridge. When that’s done, the new bridge will have two lanes of traffic in each direction while the “old” bridge is torn down and another new span is built. When done, there’ll be three lanes in each direction.
  • The current plan calls for a bike path on the bridge (Currently, there’s no sidewalk or bike path), but officials aren’t sure yet whether they’ll be able to include it in the final design because they’re not yet sure how to get the path to connect to the path along the Mississippi River, 60 feet below.
  • Construction begins in 2011. It’ll take four years.
  • There’s not a heck of a lot that can be done design wise. And the construction itself will require some finesse. It’s a “tight bridge” in MnDOT lingo. The bridge is under the flight path to the two runways at Holman Field so there’s a height problem. The river below needs to stay open for navigation. There’s a railroad that runs underneath it, it’s within a few feet of a factor and under the current timetable, construction will be going on underneath the bridge for the central corridor light-rail maintenance facility.
    • Chuck

      Wow. I love reading stuff like this. I am very interested in these bridge and light rail projects.

      I never thought much of the Lafyette and its possible decay until now. It definately needs space for walking and biking. Hope it stays in the plan.