3rd Avenue Bridge reopens with community excitement following years of renovation

3rd Avenue Bridge reopens after years of renovation work

3rd Avenue Bridge reopens after years of renovation work

The 3rd Avenue Bridge has reopened after nearly three years of renovation work — and local Minnesotans are excited about the impact it will have on the community.

A celebration marking the reopening of the bridge over the Mississippi River took place near 2nd Street SE on Saturday afternoon.

The bridge had been closed since January 2021 as construction crews worked to widen the pathways on both sides, preserve the historic bridge, improve safety and walkability, and upgrade walking facilities on and approaching the bridge.

After the reopening event, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) opened the Highway 65/3rd Avenue Bridge to buses, vehicles, and all users.

The celebration included family-friendly activities like pumpkin painting, neighborhood-hosted games, free children’s books, music, lawn games, and the chance to get up close to construction vehicles. A food truck was also on site.

There was a lot of activity from driving to walking on Sunday — the first full day of the bridge being open.

Some Minnesotans explained after three years, it was worth the wait.

“It was just wonderful to be able to be back and looking out and seeing Nicollet Island,” said Lucinda Hochsprung, who lives in the area.

For Hochsprung, walking across the 3rd Avenue Bridge is a trip down memory lane.

“When I moved here long ago in ‘91, my sister and I would take the bridge to go to the movies over on Main Street,” she said.

Hochsprung was one of the first people to walk across the bridge on Saturday to check out the renovated historic landmark.

This bride opening back up comes on the heels of plans to close the Stone Arch Bridge for the next two summers.

People are already planning to use the 3rd Avenue Bridge as a new route when Stone Arch closes for construction next year.

RELATED: Reopening of historic 3rd Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis delayed to 2023

RELATED: Historic 3rd Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis closes for nearly 2 years

RELATED: I-94 closes in Minneapolis this weekend, along with the historic 3rd Avenue Bridge