Could the old Cedar Ave Bridge Reopen?

The Other Mike and I discovered that the old Cedar Ave Bridge had closed when we tried crossing it by bike last summer.

Old Cedar Ave Bridge
Photo: John A. Weeks, III. If you like bridges, check out the rest of Weeks’ offerings.

It looks like we may have a chance to cross it again sometime in the future:

Bikers, hikers still hope bridge reopens

It’s been more than four years since the city of Bloomington closed the rusty bridge, but the old Cedar Avenue crossing in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge still stands, and efforts to reopen it to the cyclists, hikers and birders who used it are still alive.

Anyone have a little cash in their mattress? The total cost is ~$4.5 million:

The project already has $1 million in federal funding and $300,000 from the Metropolitan Council, which would leave a funding gap of about $1.2 million if the Legislature approves the bill this spring. Advocates say fundraising has been slow, despite widespread agreement among residents and local leaders that the bridge deserves to reopen.

Count me among the residents who’d like to see the bridge reopened. It makes for a nice bike crossing after riding along the east side of the river and heading back past the MOA and airport.

3 thoughts on “Could the old Cedar Ave Bridge Reopen?”

  1. We will be hosting a rally on the Old Cedar Ave Bridge, Saturday, September 22, 2012 with Representative Ann Lenczwski and Gov. Mark Dayton. This is to bring awareness of the bridge being closed to citizens for use for the past 11 years. We would like to eventually see this bridge become available for use.

    The reason for my email is to ask permission to use your picture(s) for our notifications of this rally. Would you be willing to give us the opportunity to use your photo for exchange of giving you credit for this picture?

    Also, we would be particularly interested in posting photos with people on the bridge, if you have any like that. Please just let us know. We appreciate your consideration on this.

    Sincerely,

    Shelly – Program Communications Assistant.
    Friends of the Minnesota Valley

  2. You are invited to join us for a beautiful autumn outdoor event at the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge in Bloomington as we welcome Governor Mark Dayton this Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.

    At the invitation of State Representative Ann Lenczewski, Governor Dayton is visiting the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge this Saturday, September 22 at 11:00 am. We hope you will come and show your support! We are asking all bikers (recreational, commuter and off-road), hikers, birders, transit advocates, walkers, environmental and historical site advocates to come and greet the Governor.

    A great turnout will demonstrate that the completion of the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge project is a priority for the region. With the help of hundreds of you over the years and the support of former Governor Pawlenty, the Minnesota Legislature and many other partners, we hoped the project would have been completed by now.

    Unfortunately, unforeseen problems have prevented completion and it is time we make a final push to finish this project.
    So now let’s show Governor Dayton how important it is to finally get this recreational asset and critical link restored. Your presence will say it all.

    As you know, this is a treasured site for bicyclists, hikers, birders, environmental advocates, historical preservationists, walkers and recreational users of every age. The Old Cedar Avenue Bridge was built in 1920 and was originally a Minnesota Department of Transportation Highway until the new Cedar Avenue Bridge/Hwy 77 was constructed over the Minnesota River. After being closed to motorized vehicles in 1993, the bridge served as a major transit way for bicycle commuters and recreational users until it was completely closed for safety reasons in 2002.

    Located in a pristine natural setting in the National Wildlife Refuge, this site is known across the country as a premiere location for bird watching. The Old Cedar Avenue Bridge formerly allowed access for the disabled community to enjoy the Minnesota River Valley, anglers fished off the bridge, and cyclists, hikers and birders used the area heavily.

    Your presence this Saturday, September 22, at 10:45 am will help bring about the return of this critical transportation link and point of access to the beautiful Minnesota River Valley for all recreational users.

    Thanks to everyone offering to help. The best way to help is to
    1. Forward this email to others. Tell everyone you know.
    2. On Saturday, Sept 22 please bike to the site, or lead a ride to the site, walk in, drive in, hike in from the MN River trails, push a stroller down – anything. There is parking both at the bridge site and at the intersection of Old Shakopee Road and Old Cedar Avenue.

    Directions to the Site: The site is located a few miles southeast of the Mall of America. It is just south of the intersection of Old Cedar Ave and Old Shakopee Road in Bloomington.

    Coming from the North: From 494 and Hwy 77 take Hwy 77 South approximately one to one and a half miles to the Old Shakopee Road exit. Take a right on Old Shakopee Road (you are now heading west) and go 0.2 miles to Old Cedar Avenue. Turn left at Old Cedar Avenue and head down the hill.

    Coming from the South: Heading North on Hwy 77, as you cross the Minnesota River coming into Bloomington, exit on the Old Shakopee Road exit. Go west on Old Shakopee Road (take a right at the top of the ramp) and travel approximately 0.3 miles to Old Cedar Avenue. Turn left at Old Cedar Avenue and head down the hill.

    In closing, I would like to thank all the people who have been working so hard on this project with me over the last number of years. The immediate willingness to help has been remarkable and the generosity and talents of numerous people can’t be overstated. With apologies to anyone I omitted, a partial list of groups includes:

    Friends of the Minnesota Valley
    Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
    Old Cedar Avenue Bridge Working Group
    Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter
    Minnesota Ornithologists
    Hennepin County Bicycle Task Force
    Minnesota Off Road Cyclists
    Two Wheels To Town
    Izakk Walton League
    Quality Bicycle Products
    Twin Cities Bicycling Club
    Hiawatha Bicycling Club
    Transit for Livable Communities
    Lockheed Martin Bike Club
    Penn Cycle
    Erik’s Bike Shop
    City of Bloomington
    City of Eagan
    City of Burnsville
    US Fish and Wildlife
    Historical Society
    Bloomington Geezer Squad
    Metropolitan Council
    Hennepin County
    Dakota County
    Numerous Biking Clubs
    Numerous interested citizens

    Hope to see you Saturday, September 22 at 10:45am. Governor Dayton arrives at 11:00am – let’s show him a great crowd. Thank you.
    State Rep. Ann Lenczewski lenczewski@aol.com 651-296-4218 or 952-881-8627

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