West River Parkway will not temporarily open this winter
After re-evaluation, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) has decided to keep West River Parkway closed between Fourth Street and the Franklin Avenue Bridge through early fall 2016. This determination is based on several factors related to the MPRB’s slope repair project and Hennepin County’s Franklin Avenue Bridge project, including timelines of projects, safety of the public, site security and seasonal construction limitations.
Previously, the MPRB had announced plans to reopen the segment of parkway from January through March. The roadway had been expected to close again for several months starting in April for bridge deck replacement on the Hennepin County’s Franklin Avenue Bridge. The MPRB’s slope repair will also resume in the spring. The county is using the current closure to proceed with important construction activities near and above the parkway.
The June 2014 mudslide was an unprecedented, catastrophic event which uncovered many issues on the slope that the current stabilization project must address before the project is complete. Located in the Mississippi River gorge, the slope stabilization project has been designed to shore-up one of the last segments of very steep slopes along the river with a series of retaining walls. Complicating matters, the steep slope is made up of unstable soils over a limestone bed rock that continues to leach ground water into the steep sloped soils causing the surface of the embankment to slough off and be very difficult to work on safely.
The MPRB and Hennepin County will continue close coordination of their two projects, repair of the slope and rebuild of Franklin Avenue Bridge. For details or to subscribe to email updates, visit www.minneapolisparks.org/currentprojects and select West River Parkway Slope Repairs or visit www.hennepin.us/franklinbridge.