The Third Avenue Bridge has the most dramatic setting and sophisticated design of all Minneapolis spans over the Mississippi. Built in 1918 this reinforced concrete structure had deteriorated to the point where it needed major renovation or replacement. Howard, Needles, Tammen, & Bergendoff, Architects, Engineers, and Planners, did a detailed inspection and evaluation of the bridge. They recommended replacement of the entire deck including roadway, barriers, sidewalks, railings, and lights; the spandrel caps and the upper portions of the drel caps and the upper portions of the spandrels; the entire approach spans, including the bents; and even the abutments and wing walls. Special challenges for the designers included estimating quantities and defining how much of the structure was to be replaced, improving sight distances, improving drainage by inducing a slight grade, protecting the top reinforcement, adding a new safety-shaped barrier between the roadway and the walkways, and developing special provisions for the use of shotcrete. In addition, the designers worked to preserve the historic and aesthetic values of the bridge. It became clear that a normal construction pace would not be acceptable. The bridge was too important to the traffic system to be closed any longer than really necessary. An incentive clause was added to the contract. Construction brought additional problems. The condition of the bridge was worse than expected. Decisions about the extent of the repairs had to be made daily. Nevertheless, the project was a success. The Third Avenue Bridge was reopened to traffic almost a year ahead of schedule and has been saved for decades to come.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 150-156
  • Monograph Title: Second bridge engineering conference. volumes 1 and 2
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00390860
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 03090036593
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 30 1984 12:00AM