A new St. Anthony Parkway Bridge connects drivers and cyclists over the BNSF Northtown rail yard in Northeast Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of the City of Minneapolis

A new St. Anthony Parkway Bridge connects drivers and cyclists over the BNSF Northtown rail yard in Northeast Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of the City of Minneapolis

New St. Anthony Parkway Bridge opens

The new St. Anthony Parkway Bridge in Northeast Minneapolis has opened to traffic after two years of construction.

The $31.6 million project closed off a connection over the BNSF Northtown rail yard and Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Traffic was on the new three-span bridge, which replaces a five-span bridge built in 1925, in late October.

The project pays tribute to its predecessor with a historic interpretive plaza. The more modern bridge features updated amenities for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“This new St. Anthony Parkway Bridge honors the history of this corner of our city while at the same time providing for an innovative design that is safe and accessible to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges in a statement. “Thank you to everyone — residents, business owners and visitors for your patience. Today we celebrate the fruit of all that time and work, a structure that will serve us well into the future.”

The project was a collaboration between the state, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, BNSF, U.S. Department of Transportation and the Columbia Park, Marshall Terrace and Holland neighborhood groups. The City of Minneapolis, state and BNSF contributed funds toward the new bridge.

“It was a major engineering feat to construct this bridge over an active rail yard. This new bridge honors the history of the area and has new amenities for pedestrians and cyclists. It’s a project we all should celebrate,” said Ward 1 Council Member Kevin Reich, who chairs the Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee.

City Council President Barb Johnson, whose Ward 4 includes the northwest corner of the city, said now that the Lowry, Camden, Plymouth and St. Anthony Parkway bridges have been repaired or replaced, Minneapolis is better connected.

“We have great connections between the wonderful communities of [N]orth and [N]ortheast Minneapolis,” she said.