The city of Minneapolis could reopen the 10th Avenue Bridge by the end of the day on Friday, though it won't be the four-lane bridge it once was and it may not reopen to cars at all.
An 8- to 10-foot-wide walkway will be installed on the bridge's west side, which overlooks the I-35W collapse site. There is currently no walkway on that side, only a narrow shoulder, and the concrete guardrail stands just a few inches over 3 feet high.
On Friday, workers were adding a fence atop the guardrail to provide the needed height to make the rail safe for pedestrians, and concrete barricades will be placed on the roadway to separate the new walkway from vehicles. The bridge already has a separate sidewalk on the downstream side.
The rest of the roadway will be restriped to have one lane of traffic in each direction and also will have room for bicycles. The Minneapolis Public Works Department is working with Metro Transit to decide whether the traffic lanes will be open only to transit or to traffic in general, city spokesman Matt Laible said Friday.
He noted that the changes to the bridge will cost as much as $120,000 and that the city is working to determine whether the costs are eligible for federal reimbursements. City officials have wanted the bridge, which is adjacent to the University of Minnesota, to be open by the start of the school year.