Lowry Ave. Bridge in “9th inning”

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Talk of “delay” in opening the new Lowry Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River rubs Hennepin County Construction Project Engineer Paul Backer the wrong way. “There isn’t any delay,” he said Aug. 30. “We’ve been focused on delivery this fall,” he said, and they intend to meet that deadline.

That said, it’s “hard to predict” exactly when the bridge will be ready for traffic. “A lot of details” need to be worked out, he said. “We’re trying to focus on the end of October.”

“We did have some high water in the river earlier in the summer,” he said, and that created some problems. However, he said, they are “working six days a week and putting in some long nights,” and the work is getting done.

“The project is going really well,” he said, calling it “just into the ninth inning,” with finishing touches, railing system work and electrical work getting a lot of attention recently. He said the final layer of cement is set to go in beginning Sept. 10, with installation work lasting until the end of the month.

One of the final touches, he said, will be painting the arches. The final coat, he said, will be bright white.

“It’s really fun to see it come together,” he said. “It’s looking really nice.”

The previous bridge was closed in 2008, and imploded in 2009, after attempts to stabilize a shifting pier were unsuccessful.