Third bridge closed to Minneapolis firefighters connecting North and Northeast

Minneapolis firefighters just got word that they can no longer drive rigs down the St. Anthony Parkway Bridge, which connects north and northeast Minneapolis.

As if this wasn't troubling enough, that now makes three bridges unusable for the fire department linking those two areas of the city.

"With multiple events and some big fires, the truck response could be significantly delayed," says Mark Lakosky, president of the Minneapolis fire union.

The Lowry and Plymouth avenue bridges have been under construction for some time. Now, firefighters have been told that rigs are too heavy for St. Anthony Parkway.

This is particularly bad news for this area, given that no ladder rigs are currently stationed in the northeast part of town, and will have to travel even farther.

And for Minneapolis firefighters, response time has long been a concern. As we reported in our November 2010 cover story, "Man Down," the fire department aspires to have first responders on scene within five minutes or less for at least 90 percent of calls. The department had failed to meet this goal seven years in a row as of last fall.

Now, the next quickest way to get a rig across the river will be the Broadway Avenue Bridge, which is less than ideal in an emergency situation.

As Lakosky puts it: "Have you seen Broadway lately in rush hour?"

Previous Coverage:

  • Minneapolis Fire Dept. board-up program lost $281,977 in 11 months
  • Minneapolis Fire Dept. board-up plan failing after six months
  • Man Down: Minneapolis Fire Department faces perilous future

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