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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Burwell Drive Bridge
Minnehaha Creek Street Crossing
Minnetonka, MN

Burwell Drive Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 27629.
• Location: River Mile 19.1.
• River Elevation: 920 Feet.
• Structure Type: Street Bridge.
• Construction: Concrete Slab.
• Length: 45 Feet, 43 Foot Longest Span.
• Width: 28 Feet, 2 Lanes.
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet.
• Date Built: 1980.
Burwell Drive is a quarter-line long street that runs parallel to and north of the Minnehaha Creek. A block long segment of street, including this bridge over the Minnehaha Creek, connect the street to Minnetonka Boulevard. Burwell Drive serves a small housing subdivision plus one of the three entrances to the Saint David's Center for Child and Family Development.

The Burwell Drive Bridge is a concrete slab bridge, a style typically only found on shorter spans such as this 45-foot long structure. A concrete slab bridge is built by pouring concrete into a wooden form that is built under the bridge. When the concrete dries, the wood form is removed, leaving the completed bridge. The decorative lines, cast concrete posts, iron railings, and a slight curve in the bridge slab all make for a very graceful looking bridge. The bridge looks much older than its 1980 construction date, which fits perfectly at this very historic spot.

Much of the segment of Burwell Drive located north of the creek follows the historic path of the Saint Paul and Pacific Railroad. The Saint Paul and Pacific ran a line through Minnetonka in the mid-1860s. They built a spur to the Minnetonka Mills in 1869. That spur was abandoned in 1885. The roadbed was subsequently used for wagon traffic, part of which remains in use as the present-day Burwell Drive. A second railroad served the mills following a route on the south side of the creek. That line was built in 1870 by the Minneapolis and Saint Louis Railroad, and abandoned in 1990 by the Chicago and North Western. The route survives as the Southwest LRT regional trail.

The photo above is looking north down the length of the bridge deck. Saint David's Center is on the far side of the Minnehaha Creek.

Burwell Drive Bridge
The photo above is looking east down the creek bed towards the upstream west side of the Burwell Drive Bridge. This is the best view of the graceful lines of this bridge. The photo below is a view from the southwest corner of the structure.
Burwell Drive Bridge
Burwell Drive Bridge
The photo above is a view of the bridge site from near the southwest corner of the structure. The photo below is the bridge plate.

Burwell Drive Bridge

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