Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

U of M Pedestrian Bridge Use Restrictions

In the department of ‘all bad bridges, all the time!’

In a move that will create near-certain chaos as the University of Minnesota gathers for fall classes, Hennepin County and U of M officials have closed the exterior sidewalks on the upper deck of the Washington Avenue bridge to traffic.

The upper deck is solely for the use of pedestrians and cyclists, and is a key connector of the East and West Bank campuses at the U.

Pedestrian traffic will be allowed only on a 14-foot-wide portion of the covered inner section of the bridge. New braces will be installed under the sidewalks on the exterior. Given that pedestrians aren’t precisely heavy (even with the rise in adult obesity rates in Minnesota), how bad is the decking?!

Repairs will reportedly cost about $400,000.

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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.


  1. Wow, with dorm move-ins happening this week on campus as well as the State Fair going on and the RNC just around the corner, this sounds like the worst of all possible times to do anything that would discourage walking and biking in any way. The roads will have way too many cars on them as it is.

  2. Emily,

    This should not discourage walking and biking. The bridge will still be open, just some parts of the upper deck will be closed. Folks will still be able to walk and bike across the upper deck.

  3. uh…I’m an avid cyclist and use that bridge all the time…but it’s a good thing they’re installing new braces and keeping the bridge in working order….right?

  4. Actually, you still can ride across the bridge. All pedestrians are inside the bridge, and there is a striped bike lane inside the fence line, but outside the covered part of the bridge.

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