Reporting Gordy Leach
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s now easier to get around in a couple of Minneapolis neighborhoods. The new Lyndale Avenue bridge opened to traffic, as well as the Plymouth Avenue bridge.
Local businesses say they have suffered because of the detour, and one store owner wanted to help with the grand opening.
Opening a new bridge means somebody crosses first after the ribbon is cut.
One of the first people to cross the new span over Minnehaha Creek was Dan Campo, of South Lyndale Liquors — on his motorcycle, with his dog in the sidecar.
Before the ribbon cutting, he talked about cutting back.
“When the construction hit, our revenues plummeted,” he said. “I took the first pay cut, in an effort to help everybody else and keep them where they were. We ended up having to cut back hours. We literally had employees who were standing around with no customers.”
There is still work to do around the new bridge, but now that it’s open, there is a sense of relief among neighbors and merchants.
Many of them took time to walk the new pavement this afternoon. One guy celebrated the new bridge driving his old pickup.
“The beauty, now, that is in this neighborhood and bringing the community back together, we are no longer a handicap community, but we are brought together through a bridge,” said Sandra Nelson, a neighbor.
The Plymouth Avenue Bridge in northeast Minneapolis also reopened to traffic around 5 p.m. Monday. The Lowry bridge will open this weekend.
Total construction costs for the projects:
– 50th Street to 31st Street: $8,565,000
– Minnehaha Bridge: $4,747,000
– 56th Street to Minnehaha Bridge: $2,751,000