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Merriam Street Bridge

Broadway Bridge Span

   


Merriam Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 3, 2013
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Merriam Street Over Mississippi River (East Channel)
Location
Minneapolis: Hennepin County, Minnesota
Structure Type
Metal 7 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1887 By Builder/Contractor: King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1985
Main Span Length
200 Feet (60.7 Meters)
Structure Length
256.6 Feet (78.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
34 Feet (10.4 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
27664

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF - HAER Original Plan Sheets, PDF

This bridge, with its ornate details, is a beautiful and historically significant structure, although what is seen today is in fact a mere shell of what was. The bridge has been severely altered in two main ways. First, this bridge is a single span of what was originally the multi-span Broadway Bridge on Broadway Street in Minneapolis. See the above Historic American Engineering Record documentation for more information on that historic bridge. When this bridge was replaced, one of the spans was salvaged and relocated here to Merriam Street in 1985-1987. This is the first major alteration, the reduction of a multi-span bridge to a single span bridge. Additionally, when relocated, the truss was not actually used as a bridge. Instead, the truss was welded onto the steel stringers of a replacement bridge, in a manner that retained the bottom chord but resulted in the loss of the floor beams. As such, the trusses only serve a decorative purpose and do not carry a load. The bridge contains substantial ornamentation including finials, portal cresting, and builder plaque. These are all things that were typical of 19th century urban bridges. Few examples of these sorts of bridges remain today. Thus, despite alteration, this span remains significant as a rare physical remnant of a 19th century urban metal truss bridge. This bridge was a very wide bridge for its age, with a roadway width of 34 feet.

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