The Hopkins Crossroad is a relatively old route through the western suburbs
of the Twin Cities area. While it is 4-lane today, it was built as a
2-lane highway and upgraded over time. The bridge over the BNSF Railroad
tracks just north of the Minnehaha Creek was too narrow to comfortably
carry 4 lanes of traffic. Then, for some goofy reason, a new highway bridge
over the Minnehaha Creek was built in 1987 with no sidewalks.
In 2001, Hennepin County completed a study on the gaps in the bicycle trail
system. The narrow bridge over the railroad tracks and the lack of a sidewalk
over the creek were identified as part of the 8th ranked gap in the trails.
Money was secured to replace the highway bridge over the BNSF tracks in the
mid-2000s, and that bridge was replaced during the summer of 2007. The new
bridge did include a wide walkway for both local sidewalk traffic as well as
bicycle traffic as part of the regional trail system. It appears that the
trail bridge was built over the Minnehaha Creek at the same time. It does
not appear on 2006 aerial photos, but does show up on photos taken in 2008.
The photo above is a view from the roadway leading to the City of Hopkins
yard waste dump site looking northeast towards the upstream west face of the
bridge. The photo below is looking down the stream channel towards the
west face of the bridge from the canoe landing on the south bank of the
Minnehaha Creek. The Hopkins Crossroad highway bridge is located directly
east of the trail bridge.
These two photos are views looking down the west face of the truss span.
The photo above is from near the bridge deck level, while the photo below
is from below the bottom of the truss. The creek banks are very steep
due to the highway bridge being raised high enough to cross over the BNSF
railroad tracks just north of the creek.
The photo above is looking north down the length of the bridge deck. While
I haven't measured the bridge width, it does appear to be considerably wider
than the typical footbridge over the Minnehaha Creek. The photo below is the
bridge plate. Continental Bridge builds these bridges in their factory, then
ships them to the job site for assembly and erection. They are masters at
building simple but sturdy bridges that are extremely attractive looking.