The Lafayette Bridge Carries Highway 52 traffic across the Mississippi River into Downtown St. Paul. 81,000 vehicles travel across this bridge every day. Construction of the existing bridge began in 1963, and it was opened to traffic in 1968. The aging bridge structure, as well as traffic safety and congestion problems at the I-94 interchange, are the driving forces behind the bridge replacement project. Design of the new bridge was constrained by flight paths for the St. Paul Downtown Airport and maintaining a navigation channel along the Mississippi River. A box girder bridge type was chosen to satisfy these requirements. [music] The new bridge will carry three lanes northbound, each dedicated to its own exit. Southbound will have two through lanes and one auxiliary lane that exits to Plato Blvd. [music] Northbound vehicles exiting to eastbound 94 will use the left lane. The center lane will exit to westbound 94, and the right lane will connect to 7th Street. The bridge will also carry a bicycle and pedestrian path across the river with connections to local trail systems. [music] Access to southbound 52 from 7th St., Southbound 35E, and 94 will remain the same with the exception of a new auxiliary lane. Smoother curves on the ramps will increase safety. [music] The ramp to westbound 94 will now travel underneath the freeway to allow for better operation. [music] The ramp to 7th Street will also travel underneath the freeway. Mn/DOT worked closely with the City of Saint Paul during the development of this project to allow for future city roadway connections.