Basket-handle bridge north of the QC holds similar structure to up-coming I-74 Bridge, built by same contractor

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota -- The company contracted to build the new I-74 Bridge arches has worked on basket-handle bridges in the past.  News 8's Luke Cleary found one north of the Quad Cities.

The Lowry Avenue Bridge connects Minneapolis' northern halves over the Mississippi River in Hennepin County.  It was built by Lunda Construction, and is in some ways a mirror image of what's coming up in the QC.  It's called a basket-handle tied arch.

Related: Iowa DOT says I-74 Bridge project is behind schedule, but will be completed

The design spans 475 feet long, reaching about 100 feet into the sky.  It cost more than $100 million and was completed in 2012.

"A lot people were just saying you know, why would you spend that kind of money on a bridge in the poorest part of town," said former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein. "I said that`s exactly why we're going to spend that kind of money."

He said that bridge helped revitalize the area.

The I-74 corridor project study showed that the new basket-handle arch bridge would also help support the area's economy, costing $1.2 billion.  One big difference is the arches in the QC are almost two time as long as the Lowry Avenue Bridge.

Hennepin County leaders said their bridge's construction took about 18 months to complete.  They had no major issues or delays from Lunda.

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