|Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography|
Crossing The New I-35W Bridge
Crossing The I-35W Bridge — Northbound
September 18, 2008
The busy Interstate I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed at
the height of rush hour on Wednesday, August 1, 2007. The new I-35W
bridge to replace the collapsed structure was completed and opened to
traffic just over 13 months later at 5:00 AM on Thursday, September 18,
2008. These photos were taken about 1:30 PM in the afternoon of that
historic day. They show a view of a typical bridge crossing heading
northbound across the bridge, starting at the I-94/I-35W Commons and
ending at University Avenue on the north side of the river.
Note—these materials are covered by copyright and may not be
used without written permission.
The photo above was taken at the far east end of the I-94 and I-35W
commons area south of downtown Minneapolis. After I-35W and I-94
part company, northbound I-35W makes another split. The two left
lanes carry I-35W, while the two right lanes access 3rd Street,
Washington Avenue, and a short segment of freeway that crosses the
river into the University of Minnesota campus.
The photo above is the start of the bridge project at Washington Avenue.
The University Administration Building is on the left, and the Holiday
Inn is on the right. The first section of the project replaced the
pavement where the highway grade was lowered.
The photo below is the area where the pavement transitions from being
at grade level to being on an embankment supported by retaining walls.
The northbound bridge span is 5 lanes at this point. The left 3 lanes
are for I-35W North, while the two right lanes are for 4th Street and
University Avenue (which are parallel one-way streets).
The wavy lines statute, metal guardrails, and street lights in the
center of the road mark the start of the river crossing. The wavy
lines are made of a new type of concrete that reacts with sunlight to
remove pollution from the air. It is being tried as an experiment.
If it works, it may be used on a larger scale to help reduce fog over
The photo below shows our approach to the top of the hump at the center
of the main bridge span. Due to the width of the road and the location
of the 10th Avenue Bridge, one cannot see the river while crossing to
The photo above is a view from the top of the hump in the main span.
The set of wavy lines marks the end of the river crossing. We are
still 5 lanes at this point, but we see that the lane marking to the
right of the taxi cab uses very short lines, which signifies the
line between the highway and the exit ramps.
The photo below shows where the right two lanes depart from the
highway, and break out into 4 lanes at the stop lights at the top of
The photo above shows that we are back on solid ground. Here, we are
crossing under the University Avenue overpass. The 4th Street Bridge
is just up the highway.
The photo below is a view passing under the 4th Street overpass. This
is the end of the bridge project and the transition back to the original
pavement prior to the bridge collapse.