Overhaul of 40th Street Pedestrian Bridge in the pipeline

Credit: The 40th Street Pedestrian Bridge over I-35W may be widened and raised in the coming years. Photo by Michelle Bruch

An overhaul of the 40th Street Pedestrian Bridge is on the books as part of planned improvements along the I-35W corridor.

The bridge for walkers and cyclists was constructed in 1965 and connects the Kingfield and Bryant neighborhoods over I-35W.

Council Member Elizabeth Glidden (8th Ward) said the bridge is a significant connection in the community.

“There is so much symbolism as well because of the rift created in our communities when the freeway was constructed,” she said.

The work would likely take place between 2017 and 2021 and would cost about $2 million, funded by the city and Minnesota Dept. of Transportation.

Jenifer Hager, a Minneapolis principal professional engineer, said the scope of the project is being revisited and the details aren’t final yet.

A December application for federal funding said general plans called for widening the bridge deck, raising the bridge to provide more vertical clearance over the freeway, and making aesthetic improvements.

Hager said at last count in 2014, the bridge carried 250 cyclists and 270 pedestrians in a 24-hour period.

The bridge project would be done in conjunction with the I-35W Transit/Access Project, a partnership between Hennepin County, the city, the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation and Metro Transit. The Transit/Access project includes new bridges, a new southbound exit from I-35W to Lake Street, a new northbound exit from I-35W to 28th Street, a bus rapid transit station near Lake Street, and a new bike connection between the Midtown Greenway and Lake Street.