Friday, October 14, 2016

Great Northern Bridge over Mississippi in Minneapolis, MN

(Bridge Hunter, John Weeks III, Historic Bridges3D Satellite) John's link has the most information.

Carl Venzke posted
"The Great Northern's first Empire Builder entered service in 1929 and is pictured here crossing the famed Stone Arch Bridge that same year. The locomotive , No. 2517, won the "Marathon" name on its tender in 1925 by making a fast 3,600-mile round trip between Seattle, WA, and St. Paul, MN without requiring mechanical attention. The bridge is the only structure on the railway on which "Empire Builder" James J. Hill permitted his name to be inscribed. The flour mills of St. Anthony are seen in the upper left of the photograph. This photograph was taken on the downtown Minneapolis side of the river looking north-northeast."
This picture is very similar to the one in Historic Bridges that is credited to the Minneapolis Photo Collection Of Hennepin County Library. Historic Bridges has a few more historical pictures of the bridge. If you look at the 3D Satellite link, the pictures with trains have to be historical because it no longer has tracks. Fortunately, it has been preserved as a trail bridge. I wish I knew about this bridge and the St. Anthony Falls area when I used to take a daughter to Minneapolis for an annual volleyball tournament. It looks like it would have been well worth a visit.

John Weeks III link documents: "The Stone Arch Bridge was built in the 1880s by famous railroad tycoon James J. Hill. At the time, engineers thought that it would be impossible to build a stone arch bridge for rail traffic. They believed that vibrations from passing trains would cause the stone to crumble." The next time I see a stone arch bridge in the east, I'm going to have to note the date. I thought both the B&O and England built some remarkable stone arch bridges in the mid 1800s because the basic Roman stone arch bridge was the most common design that was known at the time for big viaducts. It sounds like James hired some engineers that were out of touch with bridge design history.

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