Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman spoke on Metropolitan State’s Saint Paul Campus Tuesday, Nov. 10 to mark the opening of the new Highway 52 Lafayette Freeway Bridge, a four-year reconstruction project.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation also modified and realigned the Highway 52 bridges spanning I-94 and redecked the Highway 52 bridges over Plato Boulevard and Eaton Street south of the Mississippi River. The two new bridges will improve transportation by providing safer crossing of the river and reduce motorist congestion while providing better connections from local roads. The new bridges replaces an aging structure that first opened to traffic in 1968. The new structure features two through-lanes and an auxiliary land in each direction for entering and exiting traffic; an anti-icing system to improve safety; a bicycle and pedestrian trail along the northbound that will allow people to cross the river between Plato Boulevard and 7th Street.
“This is a great step in the right direction when it comes to investing in and improving Saint Paul’s infrastructure,” Mayor Coleman said. Tuesday’s announcement was attended by MnDOT officials, Metropolitan State faculty and administrators and news reporters.
“I look forward to continuing continuing this work as we look to upgrade other crucial connections within the city, including the Kellogg Bouevard-Third Street Bridge,” Mayor Coleman said.
The crossing allows people to access the Bruce Vento Trail, Samuel Morgan Trail and Saint Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood while proving a gateway to the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood in east Saint Paul. for more information, visit the project website at www.mndot.gov/lafayettebridge
“This project is a great example of how we are modernizing the infrastructure as we repair and replace it,” MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle said. “It provides greater service to the community and the traveling public in much the same space as the previous structure.”