Minnesota Department of Transportation

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March 24, 2023

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MnDOT seeks public input on John Ireland Blvd bridge in St. Paul

ROSEVILLE, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is seeking community feedback to inform bicycle and pedestrian improvements on the John Ireland Blvd bridge over I-94 between Kellogg Blvd and Rice St. in St. Paul. This project includes a careful disassembly and focused rebuild of the structure of the bridge, which carries four lanes of vehicle traffic over I-94. Constructed in 1967, the bridge is currently in safe condition, but a focused structural repair is necessary to ensure it remains safe for travelers based on modern weight limits.

About the project
The John Ireland Blvd bridge will be rebuilt within the same footprint as the existing bridge. Other safety and cosmetic changes will also be made, including sidewalk repairs, bike and pedestrian facility improvements, accessibility updates, and railing replacements. Work is anticipated to begin in 2025 with minimal painting and re-striping. Full construction is anticipated to begin in 2026.

The bridge is located within the boundaries of an area overseen by the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board (CAAPB), a 12-member board authorized in state law with jurisdiction over design decisions in the historic district near the State Capitol. As such, the replacement bridge must look like the style of other architecture in the Capitol area while preserving architectural features like the John Ireland Blvd Gatehouses. MnDOT is committed to designing a new bridge that complements and preserves the community’s vision for the historic district.

Public engagement opportunities
The department will engage the community for feedback on three options for the layout of the bridge, including different options for bicycle and pedestrian facilities. This feedback will also be helpful as MnDOT coordinates with the City of St. Paul, Metro Transit and other agencies on any additional upcoming work occurring in the project area and beyond.

MnDOT is offering a variety of ways for the public to share their thoughts on the three different bridge layout options. MnDOT will also host a public meeting on April 25 that can be attended in person or virtually. The meeting will include a brief presentation, time to ask questions and provide feedback. MnDOT will post a recorded video presentation on its project site for those unable to attend a live meeting.

Community input will influence MnDOT’s final bridge layout for John Ireland Blvd bridge. Individual feedback will be kept private, but major themes and recurring comments will be summarized in a public report and final designs will be shared with the community in late summer 2023.

Learn more at https://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/johnirelandbridge/index.html.