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Long Meadow Bridge

Old Cedar Avenue Bridge

Long Meadow Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 3, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Old Cedar Avenue Over Long Meadow Lake
Location
Bloomington: Hennepin County, Minnesota: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1920 By Builder/Contractor: Illinois Steel Bridge Company of Jacksonville, Illinois

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
170 Feet (51.82 Meters)
Structure Length
864.5 Feet (263.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
21 Feet (6.4 Meters)
Spans
5 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
3145

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View The National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form For This Historic Bridge

View A City Presentation From September 2013 About This Bridge

With its impressive five span design, this bridge is an outstanding example and relatively rare example of a multi-span truss bridge in Minnesota. It is additionally an uncommon example of a Camelback truss. The bridge retains good historic integrity with no major alterations to the truss being noted.

This bridge carried traffic over Long Meadow Lake, and southeast of this bridge an older 1891 swing bridge carried traffic over the adjacent Minnesota River. This bridge carried vehicular traffic until 1993. Following 1993, it remained open to pedestrians until 2002 when it was closed to pedestrians as well. Since that time, the future of this bridge has been highly uncertain, with the historic bridge being at risk for demolition. The decision making for this bridge revolved around whether to preserve the historic bridge for pedestrian use or to demolish and replace with a non-historic pedestrian bridge. In the opinion of HistoricBridges.org, this decision making process was likely made more difficult due to hired consulting engineers who have claimed it will cost twice as much to rehabilitate the bridge as to replace it. Given that the bridge is not in that bad of a condition (the worst areas seem to be the deck and flooring system), and given that pedestrians do not weigh as much as the vehicles the bridge was originally designed to carry, this bridge should not be overly costly to rehabilitate or to maintain following rehabilitation. Had a consultant been hired with a much deeper experience in rehabilitation of historic metal truss bridges it may have been possible to trim the rehabilitation costs considerably, while at the same time not reducing the quality of the rehabilitation. Despite any difficulties with the hired consultants and estimated costs, as of September 2013, it appears that the city is in support of rehabilitation of this important historic bridge for vehicular use. Regardless of cost, this is an outstanding decision. Especially for pedestrian use, it is important to preserve historic bridges. For pedestrians, a historic bridge will offer a more interesting and beautiful crossing than any ugly modern bridge would. Additionally, this bridge is a rare example of a surviving multi-span highway truss bridge in Minnesota.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Long Meadow Bridge

 
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