St. Anthony Parkway Bridge in Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota
I imagine that plenty of people would look at this bridge and see nothing very attractive. I invite you to drive, walk or bike over it and see if your perception of it changes. I crossed over it earlier this evening and was immediately struck by its design and its rustic, artistic beauty. I admit that the visually historic aspect also brought me delight. Yes, I can be a sucker for old stuff. And for preserving parts of our architectural heritage.
This bridge is a five-span, Warren through truss bridge measuring 533.6 feet in length. It was built in 1925 and passes over 24 tracks of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Rail yard. The bridge currently provides one lane of traffic in each direction and a sidewalk on the south side.
While I was photographing the bridge, I saw a gentleman standing on the sidewalk admiring the view of the trains, the tracks and the downtown skyline in the distance. I wonder if he is aware of the future of this bridge. Is he enjoying it while he can?
At this time, it appears to be nearly the end of the road for this bridge. A new bridge, known as the North Town Bridge, is slated to be built in its place during 2011-2012. The construction project for the new bridge will also include approach roadways (St. Anthony Parkway, California St NE and possibly Main St NE) and separate bike lanes.
The current bridge has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. It’s also part of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board “Grand Rounds—National Scenic Byway”. Should this bridge be placed on the National Register of Historic Places so that it can become a permanent part of the National Scenic Byway? Is this a bridge you’d enjoy biking and walking over as part of your trip around the cities?
Should this bridge be saved or replaced?
I’d love to know your thoughts.
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More on biking, the scenic Grand Rounds, and things to do and see in the Twin Cities:
Soak up the scenery on the beautiful Grand Rounds—Biking in Minneapolis
Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway Home Page—MinneapolisParks.org
National Scenic Byways Program—Grand Rounds Scenic Byway Information