Already long closed to drivers, the St. Anthony Parkway Bridge over the Northtown rail yard in northeast Minneapolis closes Monday to pedestrians and bikers as the bridge replacement project hits a new phase.

The closing is scheduled to last for 13 months as crews prepare to remove removing the five spans in the 89-year-old fracture-critical bridge that is rated as the worst in Hennepin County. The bridge closed to motorized traffic 17 months ago.

Vehicle, bike and foot detours have been posted.

The project includes a new bridge with a through truss resembling the current bridge that centers steel beam approaches on either side. It also will realign approach roads on St. Anthony Parkway, California St. NE and Main St. NE. The new bridge features wider pedestrian and bike lanes connecting to parkway trails and sidewalks.

A bridge plaza will be located on the parkway at NE California Street. It will feature exhibits about the old bridge, rail yard and neighborhood history. It will reuse parts of the old bridge and offer a vista for observing the rail yard.

(Illustration: Artists concept showing the observation plaza to be built adjacent to the new bridge incorporating parts of the old bridge.)