Third Avenue Bridge (Minneapolis)

The Third Avenue Bridge is a landmark structure of the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, originally known as the St. Anthony Falls Bridge. It carries road traffic across the Mississippi River and right over the upper fringes of Saint Anthony Falls. The multi-arched bridge meets with Third Avenue in downtown Minneapolis at its south end, but curves as it crosses the river, and connects with Central Avenue on its north end. The shallow "S" curve in the bridge was built to avoid fractures in the limestone bedrock that supports the bridge piers. The road is also designated Minnesota State Highway 65. Construction began in 1914, and it opened four years later in 1918.[1] The bridge, which uses Melan arches of an open spandrel design, has been modified since that time. The 2,223-foot (667.6 m) crossing was designed by city engineer Frederick W. Cappelen, who also created plans for other similar bridges in Minneapolis such as the Franklin Avenue Bridge. It cost US$862,254.00 at the time.[1]

Third Avenue Bridge
Third Avenue Bridge spanning the Mississippi, viewed from north-west.
Coordinates44°59′00″N 93°15′32″W
CarriesFour lanes of MN 65
CrossesMississippi River
LocaleMinneapolis, Minnesota
Maintained byMinnesota Department of Transportation
ID number2440
DesignOpen-spandrel concrete arch bridge
Total length2223 feet
Width54 feet
Longest span211 feet
Clearance below42 feet
Third Avenue Bridge
Third Avenue Bridge
Location in Minnesota
Third Avenue Bridge
Location in United States
Architectural styleMelan arch bridge, open spandrel
Part ofSt. Anthony Falls Historic District (#71000438)
Designated CPMarch 11, 1971
Bridges over the Mississippi in Minneapolis–St. Paul. 3rd Ave is near middle of the image between Hennepin Ave. Bridge and Stone Arch Bridge.


The bridge underwent a major overhaul in 1979-1980. Another restoration is planned to extend its life 50 years with a new deck, and other improvements to barriers, railings, and lighting. As the bridge is a contributing member of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District, a goal of the project is preserving its historic design elements. The three-year construction project is to begin in fall 2019 under the direction of general contractor Finley Engineering Group.[2]

See also


  1. Zschomler, Kristen for Mead & Hunt (2006). "Minnesota Historic Property Record: Third Avenue Bridge" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation ( Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  2. "Historic Bridge to Be Rehabilitated (Again)". Public Works. March 26, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2018.


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