It was just two weeks ago that MnDOT crews successfully pushed the Larpenteur Avenue bridge over I-35E into place. Tonight, motorists will be able to use it.

Officials tell the Drive that the new bridge will be open "by end of the day Wednesday."

This was one of the more interesting bridge projects in recent times. The new 3.5 million-pound deck and beams was built on a temporary structure immediately north of where the old bridge was. MnDOT used hydraulic jacks to push the new bridge 84 feet onto the newly constructed new piers and abutments.

Once in place, crews had to finish paving the intersections and complete the sidewalks along the 184-foot span.

The Larpenteur Avenue bridge is part of a long-running project that includes adding a new MnPASS lane to the current three lanes between Little Canada Road and Maryland Avenue, rebuilding bridges along that stretch and resurfacing the freeway.  Work also continues on rebuilding I-35E between Maryland Avenue and University Avenue.

Speaking of that, here's a reminder that the ramp from westbound I-94 to northbound 35E in downtown St. Paul will shut down around midnight and remain closed for 30 days. You can read about the traffic impact on yesterday's blog post, which includes a map of the suggested detours.  .


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9 a.m. update: Rush hour wrap up

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Torchlight Parade will close Hennepin, downtown streets tonight