Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Plans for the Lafayette Bridge

The Pioneer Press continues to report a 2011 start date for a rebuild of the US52 Bridge into St. Paul, also known as the Lafayette Bridge.

Neighbors of the bridge are looking for the new span, which will allegedly be 6 lanes (rather than the present 4) and have shoulders (unlike the present span), to include transit and bicycle options.

A ped/bike crossing on any bridge would be nice. One thing that freaks people out on the current bridge, and that I think would apply even moreso to pedestrians and cyclists, is how high the Lafayette Bridge is. Allegedly, it’s 60 feet above the Mississippi River — I494 between Eagan and Bloomington over the Minnesota River is supposedly 55 feet — but it seems higher when you’re on it. If a new design doesn’t cure the swaying effect, it will be quease-inducing for all but thrill-seekers.

To make a bicycle crossing on this bridge effective — heck, to make the bridge effective — they’ll have to deal with the I94 interchange, which is utterly dreadful, and the connection to E. 7th Street. A bicycle bridge, if built within an improved interchange system, could easily connect to the Bruce Vento corridor, Summit Avenue, and Shepard Road.

Ought to be interesting to see the ongoing debate on this bridge. Of all the Twin Cities bridges, the Lafayette Bridge and the Stillwater Lift Bridge seem to be the two bridges with the most attention and focus, and both have proposed futures involving bicycles.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.

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