What’s making news in St. Paul, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to richard.meryhew@startribune.com.

The bridges of Kellogg Boulevard

Posted by: Kevin Duchschere under Politics and government, Public safety, Urban living Updated: June 19, 2014 - 3:43 PM

It’s the bridge project that doesn’t look like a bridge project.

The St. Paul City Council on Wednesday approved a $9.8 million project to replace two aging bridges that support Kellogg Boulevard, the broad street that wraps around downtown’s south side high above the Mississippi River. The project is scheduled for next year.

Three bridges will be built, along with new sidewalks, traffic signals, street lights and trees. The new roadway also will include room for a future 12-foot wide bike lane.

The bridges, which aren’t obvious from the street, were built in the 1930s to extend the boulevard’s eastbound lanes at Market and St. Peter streets. They’re anchored to the top of the river bluff.

Both bridges are considered “structurally deficient,” suffering from joint leakage, significant concrete girder deterioration and columns with exposed steel, according to a City Council engineering report. The bluff itself also is deteriorating.

The project will be financed with a combination of federal, state and city funding.

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