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The re-opening of the Third Avenue Bridge that connects downtown and St. Anthony Main across the Mississippi River has been pushed back to 2023.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that work on the bridge, which was originally scheduled to be completed this fall, will now not be finished until summer next year.

The decision to postpone was made "to keep the public and construction crews safe while rehabilitation and preservation work continues."

Work on the 102-year-old bridge started in May 2020, but MnDOT says that "additional concrete repairs" are needed on the bridge arches, and that crews also have to respond to "other challenges" that have emerged this year.

This includes changes caused by high river water levels earlier this year, as well as delays to materials.

It will mean motorists, pedestrians and bikers will have to use alternatives such as the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, though walkers and bikers also have the option of using the Stone Arch Bridge.

The Third Avenue Bridge connects 3rd Avenue South in downtown with Central Avenue SE, which continues through northeast Minneapolis.

After assessing the overall schedule and work to be completed, we are unable to reopen the bridge in fall 2022 without creating safety issues for the public and construction crews. The bridge is now anticipated to reopen to traffic in summer 2023.

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