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Interstate 35W Bridge - Rebuild design choices
Mississippi River Crossing in downtown Minneapolis

Rendering of the new I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge
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How was the design selected?

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Residents, business and community members, representatives from the parks, preservation and arts communities, as well as various elected and appointed officials from local, state and federal governments voted at a community workshop on various aspects of the bridge design including pier shape, lighting and color.

Bridge pier

Selected: Option A.
Option A received 74 percent of the vote at the design workshop.

Visualization (9,946kb, wmv file)

Not Selected: Option B

Visualization (9,605kb, wmv file)

Pier Design Option A Pier design option B
Option A global view
Option A elevated vie
Option B global view
Option B elevated view

Retaining walls Wall locations

Selected: Gabain Wall Native Mississippi River Valley stone retaining walls were selected with an average rating of 7.7 out of a possible 10; nearly twice as high as ratings for the other two options.

Options not selected

Gateway Monuments - Participants provided comments and feedback that will guide designers as they finalize designs for the entranceways of the bridge.


Selected: Full Open Railing -Fully open railings were selected with an average rating of 7.4 out of 10.

Options not selected

Color - Both options would have concrete coating for uniform smooth color and anti-graffiti clear coating

Selected: White was selected by nearly 67 percent of participants

Options not selected -sandstone bridge

Lighting - tied

Voting ended in a tie between a full lighting option and an option that involved lighting the superstructure and underside of the bridge piers. Participants agreed to allow the Visual Quality Advisory Team for the project to make a final decision on lighting after reviewing all of the completed design choices.

All lighting options will include

Options being considered

Additional features of the new bridge

  • Structural enhancements, including the use of high performance concrete to provide superior durability and multiple levels of structural redundancy to provide a long-lasting bridge for the future that will be economical to maintain.
  • A state-of-the-art sensor and monitoring system built into the bridge that will allow for easier and more comprehensive monitoring throughout the bridge’s lifetime.
  • A comprehensive safety program that will be implemented throughout all aspects of the design and construction process.

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