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4th Avenue Bridge

4th Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 3, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
4th Avenue (Repurposed As Walkway) Over Railroad (Abandoned BNSF)
Minneapolis: Hennepin County, Minnesota: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1891 By Builder/Contractor: Pennsylvania Steel Company of Steelton, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
46 Feet (14 Meters)
Structure Length
48 Feet (14.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
37 Feet (11.28 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is an unusual and noteworthy bridge and is part of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. The bridge is significant as an early rivet-connected truss bridge in Minnesota. The bridge is also noted for its configuration as a Warren truss bridge with no verticals. The bridge has a noteworthy 60 degree skew. The bridge has very shallow trusses with a depth of 5. The accommodate a wide deck, three truss lines were used, with the third line in the middle of the roadway.

This is a historic bridge that has been spared demolition and preserved, despite a radically changing surrounding. The bridge was built to carry 4th Street over a pair of railroad tracks. Old inspection reports for the bridge indicate that the tracks were removed under the bridge in 1985. The bridge was listed as closed to traffic in 1993. At the time, the bridge had a wooden deck.

Fast forward to 2013, and the bridge today has been preserved and serves only non-motorized traffic. The bridge itself does not appear to serve any functional purpose, since the railroad tracks are long gone, and the bridge appears to rest on top of a building. The bridge has not moved, and it continues to sit on its stone abutments, but its surroundings have changed a lot. The surrounding area, once likely an industrial area, today serves residential towers. The bridge remains today as an important historic bridge and an important reminder of this location's past.


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