Kennedy Bridge to close Friday through early Monday
Traffic delays are straight ahead for Grand Forks area drivers, with the Kennedy Bridge set to close between 6 a.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday while concrete is poured and set on the bridge's east side.
Traffic delays are straight ahead for Grand Forks area drivers, with the Kennedy Bridge set to close between 6 a.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday while concrete is poured and set on the bridge’s east side.
Though project leaders had previously announced the closure , specific times and dates were not set because of shifting weather patterns and construction schedules. The closure will divert vehicles toward DeMers Avenue and over the Sorlie Bridge, likely resulting in traffic backups.
“Hopefully (over) the weekend, you won’t get the rush hour as much, but on Friday, there will be delays,” said Paul Konickson, a bridge engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “So drivers should plan accordingly.”
Grand Forks traffic engineer Jane Williams said traffic lights will be timed to help vehicles move smoothly along the detour. Parking along DeMers Avenue will be temporarily prohibited between the Sorlie Bridge and Fifth Street downtown.
“If there happens to be a crash at an intersection, the whole system would be just so much slower,” she said. “And this way, we’ll still have the parking lanes for people to get around.”
The closure comes amid a more than $20 million project updating the bridge surface , adding a pedestrian walkway and repainting, leaving traffic reduced to two lanes until late next year. The project is being paid for with federal and state funds.
This weekend’s closure will be followed in September by two more closures for similar reasons, and an overnight closure is expected in August to place the bridge on a new support pier.
The project is still on schedule, Konickson said, and has an end date in 2019.