Lowry Bridge closed during non-rush hours this week
The Lowry Bridge is closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, Aug. 13-17, for welding of the mesh decking. Hennepin County Engineer Jim Grube said although the welding is done annually, it hadn’t yet been scheduled for this year. After the I-35W bridge collapse, however, engineers took a closer look at the Lowry Bridge.
The Lowry Bridge was closed for repairs in 2004 because it had “tilted out of alignment,” he added. “We have been watching it to make sure all the working parts were still working. With the increased traffic it has been getting because of 35W being closed, we noticed that the bridge deck needed to be welded; we could hear a rattle in the decking.
“That type of deck design is past its usefulness,” Grube said. “We don’t put decks like that in anymore; stuff falls through it and the traffic beats it up. The design is not a real good design.”
Congressman Jim Oberstar is scheduled to visit the Lowry Bridge this Thursday, Aug. 16, at 1:30 p.m.
There is a plan afoot to replace the Lowry Bridge, Grube added. The county has hired a consultant and there is a public meeting Tuesday, Aug. 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N.