The Birkie Bridge, one the Super Bowl-related attractions on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, was temporarily closed Saturday afternoon because of a broken railing and ice formation due to balmy temperatures, event organizers said.
The bridge is expected to be closed through Saturday and reopen Sunday.
The 200-foot, 50,000-pound bridge, which has been covered with snow, spans 9th Street along the mall.
It’s usually a feature at the American Birkebeiner, the largest cross-country ski race in the country, held in Hayward, Wis. Known as the “International Bridge,” it has been used twice in the Birkebeiner race by skiers to cross Hwy. 63 in Hayward as they approach the finish line.
The Super Bowl Host Committee worked with the race’s foundation to bring the bridge downtown as a way to incorporate winter sports and recreation.
The Loppet Foundation, a Minneapolis nonprofit that promotes outdoor activities for underserved youth, is coordinating a slew of activities across the bridge, including skiing, fat-tire biking and skijoring, a sport in which a person on skis is pulled by dogs.
The bridge is groomed nightly.
It will be up until Super Bowl Sunday. Crews will then tear it down and build it back up weeks later in Hayward for the Birkebeiner events, scheduled this year for Feb. 22-25.