MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Relief from daily gridlock is on the way to one busy part of Plymouth, but not before months of construction.
The Rockford Road Bridge, aka the County Road 9 Bridge over Interstate 494, is closed for the next three months. Crews are taking down the old bridge and putting up a new one.
No one looks forward to road construction.
“It’s like a rite of passage, right? You just kind of have to deal with it. It’s just a part of being a Minnesotan,” said Plymouth resident Katie Ahrens.
When it comes to making the interchange safer, she will make an exception.
“There were crashes all the time,” said Ahrens.
If you ask city engineer Chris LaBounty, a few months of detours will be well worth it.
“We’re hoping that the improvements made to the bridge will decrease the amount of accidents by allowing more free-flowing traffic and a safer configuration,” said LaBounty.
This interchange will originally built in 1965, and there’s been a population boom over the past 50 years.
“It can’t handle the amount of vehicles of this growing area,” said LaBounty. “It isn’t set up for the amount of traffic, which is creating safety issues in the area.”
On average, 39,000 cars use the bridge every day. That’s nearly 30 times the traffic volume is was built for.
More cars mean more crashes. City data shows over the last five years, police have been called to an average of 33 crashes there annually.
Until the bridge is back open, the city suggests using Highway 55 and County Road 61 to get around the closure. More information is available on their website.
The majority of this construction project is expected to be complete in November.