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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Excelsior Boulevard Footbridge
Minnehaha Creek Footbridge Crossing
Saint Louis Park, MN

Excelsior Boulevard Footbridge

• Structure ID: NBI 94249.
• Location: River Mile 13.0.
• River Elevation: 890 Feet.
• Structure Type: Pedestrian Bridge.
• Construction: Steel Pony Truss, Wooden Deck.
• Length: 64 Feet.
• Width: 8 Feet.
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet.
• Date Built: 1980.
The Excelsior Boulevard bridge over the Minnehaha Creek was built in 1874 using the embankment of the dam that once powered the Globe Mill. This bridge might have sported sidewalks and highway shoulders at one point in the past. In its current configuration, it is just wide enough to support 4 lanes of highway traffic. As a result, there is no safe place for pedestrians to cross the creek. This problem was solved in 1980 when this prefabricated steel truss footbridge was installed just north of the street bridge.

I was not able to find a builder plate on the bridge, so I do not know who built this structure. It looks very similar to the prefabricated regional trail bridges that are built by Continental Bridge. The structure does double duty in that the truss not only supports the bridge, but the truss serves as the bridge railings. This bridge is holding up very well. It shows no signs of deterioration or wear despite being 30 years old when these photos were taken. The somewhat ugly chain link fence at each end of the structure protects pedestrians from falling down the steep drop to the wetlands located to the north of this structure.

The Excelsior Boulevard Bridge is slated to be replaced during the summer of 2010. Construction will start in June, with all lanes open by November 2010, and the project being completed in the summer of 2011. The new bridge will have sidewalks. As a result, this footbridge will become part of Minnehaha Creek history. Given that the bridge is still functional, it would not be surprising if it is reinstalled somewhere else, perhaps at another location over the Minnehaha Creek.

The photo above is looking northwest across Excelsior Boulevard towards the downstream face of the footbridge. There is no walkway on the south side of Excelsior Boulevard. The footbridge is the only pedestrian crossing over the creek at this location.

Excelsior Boulevard Footbridge
The photo above is looking south into the midday sun towards the upstream north face of the Excelsior Boulevard Footbridge. The street bridge is located directly behind the footbridge. The highway is built on top of the embankment of the mill dam built for the former Globe Mill. The photo below is looking west down the length of the footbridge deck.

Excelsior Boulevard Footbridge
Excelsior Boulevard Footbridge
The photo above is looking down the downstream south face of the bridge from the southeast corner of the structure. The photo below is a similar view from the southwest corner of the Excelsior Boulevard Footbridge. Apparently the bridge deck can be slippery when it is wet.

Excelsior Boulevard Footbridge

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