Wash. Ave. Bridge to open

Repairs were completed late Wednesday, and fencing on the outside portion of the bridge should be gone by the weekend.

Almost nine months of restrictions and structural repairs are complete, and the Washington Avenue Bridge will reopen to students. Repairs to the bridge deck were completed late Wednesday with the orange security fencing to be removed by Friday. The outside portions of the pedestrian level should be reopened to students by the weekend, according to Cara Lee, a Hennepin County spokeswoman. The chain link fencing inside the covered portion of the bridge will need to be removed separately, which may cause a temporary closure inside. University and Hennepin County officials originally set the constructionâÄôs completion date for April 1 this year, but certain structural supports needed in construction had to be developed in New York, and they took longer to ship, Paul Backer, project engineer with Hennepin County said. The bridge closed last year after an August engineering report showed there were issues with column connections. If the pedestrian deck was fully loaded with people, that portion could have collapsed, according to the report.