Father Louis Hennepin Bridge

There are many bridges in the Twin Cities. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have several bridges crossing the Mississippi, and on top of that collection is the variety of bridges involved in the Freeway and Railroad system in the area. We may not have nearly as many bridges as Pittsburgh. Or bridges the size of the Golden Gate, or Bay Bridges. Nothing comes to mind as being as fascinating as the Washington Bridge in NY. And we’ve had a sample of bridge disasters with the collapse of the I-35W bridge in August of 2007.

All that said, there are many bridges that are interesting in the twin cities for various reasons. One of my favorites is the Father Louis Hennepin Bridge, connecting the north and south sides of the city of Minneapolis upstream of Saint Anthony Falls on the Mississippi river.

Father Hennepin was a priest who traveled up the Mississippi in the 17th century and found the only waterfall on the Mississippi, which he dubbed Saint Anthony Falls. The falls moved up stream over the years as they are want to do, but since the construction of the spillway to support the mill community has not been migrating. There are several bridges connecting Minneapolis across the area of the Falls. At a later date I expect to post some pictures I’ve taken of the New bridge for I-35W, the Stone Arch bridge, and if I can get a decent picture of the Central Avenue bridge, that as well. There are also a couple of bridges that have been taken out of service since the collapse of the I-35W bridge. The Lowery Avenue bridge is close to being ready for traffic after it was torn down for structural issues, and the Plymouth Avenue bridge has been indefinitely closed to vehicular traffic until repairs can be made to issues identified in an inspection a few years ago. It is however open to pedestrians, and there are a number of events with runs that cross it.

Father Louis Hennepin Bridge is a suspension bridge that is not considered long by today’s standards. The entire bridge is a little over 1000 feet in length. And while you can see several pictures of it during the day on it’s wikipedia entry, I think this picture demonstrates that it truly shines at night.

Next week I’m going to try to have something on some of the equipment that I use. I hope you can stop by. Feel free to drop me a note.