Sunday, August 05, 2007

Stone Arch Bridge Open

The Stone Arch Bridge has been reopened to bikes and pedestrians as of about 4PM on Sunday. For those not from here, that's a lovely old railway bridge that is open to pedestrians and cyclists only. The 10th Avenue Bridge remains closed, which isn't surprising. No word on the Number 9 bridge (another old railway bridge converted to bike and pedestrian usage).

In my prior entry I said that bike routes weren't really affected. This was wrong, as my first commenter pointed out. Although I-35W doesn't really affect bicycle routes across the Mississippi, at least once everything reopens, it fell onto the West River bikepath (see this Star-Tribune slideshow about a cyclist who was 20 seconds from the bridge when it fell onto the bike path in front of him, after which he climbed onto the wreckage and helped people) and across 2nd Street SE on the north side. These routes will be closed until the new bridge is in place, which officials are optimistically hoping to do by the end of 2008. There are other usable routes close to 2nd Street SE, and the City of Minneapolis is recommending using the Light Rail bikepath to get into Minneapolis from the south in place of the river bikepath. Some of this is Matt-centric; I use the Stone Arch and Number 9 bridges but hardly ever use the West River bikepath. Those who do use it for commuting will of course be disrupted for some time to come.


Jim Thill said...

I was on campus today and saw people milling around the entrance to bridge #9, and I assumed it was open again.

Matt said...

I rode the Stone Arch bridge on the way to my dentist's appointment Monday morning. It was open and had some minor crowds on it looking to see the wreckage of the I-35W bridge collapse. People were disappointed, I think, but should not have been surprised. Anybody who has carefully perused my July 2005 blog entries, and who among us hasn't?, would have realized that the lower Saint Anthony dam blocks the view of the river where the bridge lies. I stopped to take a look anyway, but there's not much to be seen. Handy to have it open again, though, should be good for the regular downtown Minneapolis commuters as well as the twice-a-year guys like myself.