View of Washington Avenue Bridge

Washington Avenue Pedestrian Bridge Gets a Facelift

As a University of Minnesota employee, I walk across the Washington Avenue Bridge every day. It’s often part of my commute but it is also one of my daily walking destinations. The bridge is a focal point for people visiting or passing through the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. In recent years, the bridge’s enclosed walkway has fallen into disrepair. While there is a project planned for a comprehensive renovation, the funding has yet to be secured. To bridge the gap between an eyesore and a shiny new pedestrian bridge, the University of Minnesota’s Facilities Management team came up with a creative solution to the problem. As a thank you to this team of professionals who often does not get recognized for their hard work, I wanted to share this video as an example of ways people can come together to find affordable solutions that make a difference in how we experience our built environment.

Visit the bridge

On September 29 and 30, University of Minnesota students will be painting the interior of the bridge. Visit campus to view the new artwork and take an autumnal walk or bike ride along the Mississippi River!

Share your creative solutions stories

I invite you to share some of projects you’ve been a part or have noticed that have used creative approaches or made the most of budget constraints. Let’s celebrate the small victories together!

Janelle Nivens

About Janelle Nivens

Janelle is an urban explorer who likes to challenge herself to walk long distances (40 miles is her record). She lives in southwest Minneapolis with Scott and their adorable dog Stewie and works at the University of Minnesota. Janelle documents what catches her eye on long walks in hopes of inspiring others to discover hidden gems in their own communities. Walk with her on Instagram, Twitter (@Janellie23), and FitBit.