At 10 a.m. Friday, the decrepit Lowry Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis closed forever to traffic. An hour earlier, on the other side of town, the state closed the 46th Street bridge that spans the widening urban trench of 35W. The 50th Street bridge over 35W is still more air than concrete. Down in Richfield and Bloomington, the 76th Street bridge shuts down on Monday for six months and the American Boulevard overpass is already closed, the victim of improper roadbed fill. Further up the Mississippi in St. Cloud, the DeSoto Bridge was shut down abruptly in March because of warped gusset plates and will soon be demolished. And of course, it will be months before Minneapolis traffic can once again cross the Mississippi on 35W. The story’s not much better for those on foot: a little footbridge over railroad tracks in Dinkytown was shut down in March, and one of my favorite bridges, the 78-year-old pedestrian bridge that links Bryant Avenue over Minnehaha Creek, had plywood barriers installed on either end this month because of crumbling concrete supports and rusty bolts.
My diligent colleague Roadguy has been busy chronicling these disappearing bridges, and reports this morning that a Hennepin County Sheriff’s squad car with its flashers on was guarding the newly-abandoned Lowry Bridge.
If I’ve missed any missing bridges, please alert Roadguy.