With improvements such as replacing the deck, cap beams and spandrel columns and major repairs to the piers and arches, the historic Third Avenue Bridge located in downtown Minneapolis, spanning the Mississippi River has been named one of the Top 10 Bridge projects by the Roads & Bridges magazine.

The construction engineering work began in 2019 including re-decking and rehabilitation while preserving the beloved bridge’s historic design elements according to the National Historic Preservation Act.

The Third Avenue Bridge – originally named the St. Anthony Falls Bridge – opened in 1918 and has since provided a critical river crossing for vehicles, horse-carriages, bicycles, and pedestrians. During reconstruction, the main goals were to minimize the impacts on the local community and the environment while reducing the closure of this important artery of downtown Minneapolis.

COWI in North America was responsible for the staged construction analysis of the existing and new bridge structure, design of the temporary falsework, production of the fabrication drawings for the concrete elements, geometry control for casting, development of the 3D Bridge Integrated Model, and engineering support.

Using the Bridge Integration Modeling approach during pre-construction to assist with visualizing the step-by-step construction phases helped the construction team integrate the complex construction sequencing, scheduling, and planning for upcoming construction activities. COWI delivered the project for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, working with Ames Construction.

About the Roads & Bridges’ Top 10 Bridge awards

Roads & Bridges’ Top 10 Bridge awards, recognize the top projects in North America. Each year, nominations are submitted to the R&B editorial staff, which determines the Top 10 list based on project challenges, impact to region and scope of work.