The existing westbound bridge was constructed in 1973 using voided concrete deck planks to span between supports. In the decades following construction, it was found that this design is prone to differential deflections between adjacent planks, which leads to longitudinal cracking of the concrete deck overlay, and ultimately to advanced deterioration requiring structural replacements.
The parallel eastbound bridge, which was similarily designed, was replaced with a "slab-span" design that is both economical and reliable. This design will also be used for the westbound bridge.
Footings, abutments, and pier columns will be rehabilitated and re-used. The new deck section will better accommodate shared use by vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. A new metal railing will be added for safety which matches the railing on the bridge to the south.
This is a Ramsey County bridge project. The City of Saint Paul is providing design services and administering the construction contract. The City and County anticipate performing reconstruction work in the 2014 construction season.
During construction, Maryland Avenue will remain open to traffic, which will be reduced to one lane in each direction.