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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Interstate I-494 Bridge
Minnehaha Creek Highway Crossing
Minnetonka, MN

Interstate I-494 Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 27V05 (Southbound), 27V06 (Northbound).
• Location: River Mile 19.7.
• River Elevation: 921 Feet.
• Structure Type: Highway Bridge.
• Construction: Prestressed Concrete Girder.
• Length: 339 Feet, 120 Foot Longest Span (Each Bridge).
• Width: 69 Feet, 4 Lanes (Each Bridge).
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet.
• Date Built: 1998.
Two parallel concrete girder bridges carry Interstate highway I-494 over the Minnehaha Creek at the interchange of the freeway and Hennepin County highway 5. The creek once flowed in a channel located 400 feet to the north. It was relocated to the south when the highway interchange was built. The original bridges at this location were built in 1965. They were replaced in 1998 as MN-DOT was preparing to add a third lane to I-494 in the southwest metro area during 2004 to 2006.

The photo above is a profile view of the upstream west side of the Interstate I-494 bridges over Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka Drive, and the Minnehaha Creek.

Interstate I-494 Bridge
The photo above is looking east along the south shore of the Minnehaha Creek towards the upstream west face of the I-494 Bridge spans over the creek. The vantage point is near the McGinty Road bridge located just west of the I-494 bridges. Also note that the next bridge downstream is visible in the distance just beyond the I-494 Bridges. The photo below is a view of the spans over the creek as seen from the edge of Minnetonka Boulevard. The low sun angle makes for some interesting shadows.

Interstate I-494 Bridge
Interstate I-494 Bridge
The photo above is crossing the Minnehaha Creek heading northbound on Interstate I-494. The photo below is crossing the creek heading south. There is no signage indicating that you are crossing the creek. In fact, most motorists are probably unaware that the creek flows under the highway at this location.

Interstate I-494 Bridge
Interstate I-494 Bridge
The photo above is a view of the creek as it passes under the Interstate highway I-494 bridges. The photo below is a closer view of the stream as it flows over some rocks forming a small rapids. It is hard to contemplate that a major water-powered mill was once located just downstream of this location given that the stream is barely 18 inches wide and 4 inches deep in this spot, let alone that it feeds the most famous waterfall in the Midwest.

Interstate I-494 Bridge

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