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SCCA Member: Jim Welna, Welna II Hardware

Share Your Thoughts on the Franklin Bridge Construction Project

A year from now, the fall of 2014, construction will start on the Franklin Bridge across the Mississippi. This is going to disrupt traffic for a period of time no matter how the construction is staged, but Hennepin County is asking for our opinion on what works best for . The option is pretty simple – either the entire bridge will be completely closed for 3 months during the construction season of 2015, likely in the summer, or they will reduce traffic to half the bridge, and the complications of staging the construction process that way will take two and a half years (30 months), with traffic disruptions starting next fall.

There are a couple significant cons to keeping the bridge open during construction: 1. Construction workers, cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians will be less safe as they will have to co-exist in a fairly tight space for a long period of time. 2. The overall quality of the bridge will be slightly reduced. There will be a seam running all the way across the bridge down the center line, which makes it slightly less stable. Also, this bridge’s support beams are unusual in that they run perpendicular to traffic, meaning that they could not be fully removed if traffic is to remain on half the bridge. Lastly, some of the beams are actually built right into the deck, and the construction project becomes much more complicated.This timeline is based on the experience of the Ford Bridge Rehabilitation, which was a staged construction from April of 2002 to October 14, 2004 and was completed 1 month ahead of schedule.  3. Of course, reducing the bridge to half of its capacity will still bog down traffic, and for much longer.

So what do you think? Do the cons of the long construction outweigh the difficulties of having the entire bridge closed for a whole summer? Please feel free to email us more specific comments if you have them, but we anticipated the following two questions and will let the county know what we think as a group when you’ve weighed in.

If you did not receive the October Newsletter and would like to vote, email your answers to the following questions to info@sewardbusiness.org.

How much do you PREFER the full closure for 3 months over the other option?
10 means you put your full support behind the 3 month full closure. 1 means you put your full support behind the other option
lowest 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   highest

How important would it be to you to have the full closure happen while school is out of session if that was the approach they chose?
lowest 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   highest

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