This nicely decorated bridge carries Lake Street across the Minnehaha Creek.
Lake Street is a major street through south Minneapolis. It was once an
important through street in the western suburbs. However, when Highway 7 was
built, and later when the freeways were constructed, Lake Street ended up
chopped up into bits and pieces west of France Avenue through Saint Louis Park
and into Hopkins. As a result, this section of Lake Street is a sleepy side
street that carries relatively little traffic.
The Lake Street Bridge is a concrete slab bridge. That is, forms were built,
then the deck of the bridge was poured in place. Once it hardened, the forms
were removed. The deck is both the main structure element as well has the
roadway surface. This would normally be a very ordinary bridge, but a few
key decorative elements makes all the difference. This includes the decorative
rock veneer, pillars at each corner, and steel railings. The result is a
very simple and functional bridge that has a hundred year old look.
A very serious accident happened during the construction of this bridge. At
5:30 PM on August 2, 2001, crews working on the bridge project drove a steel
piling through a 30 inch interceptor pipe that carries sewage from the
western suburbs to the water treatment plant near Pigs Eye in Saint Paul.
The damaged pipe spilled 6,000 gallons of raw sewage per hour into the
Minnehaha Creek. It took 24 hours to stop the leak. The repair was made
difficult because the pipe was located four feet below the bed of the creek.
This spill made a huge mess that adversely impacted water quality in the
creek for months. In fact, public health officials still recommend that
people wash with soap and water any time that they come in contact with
water from the Minnehaha Creek.
The photo above is looking northeast down the length of the bridge deck.
The creek flows left to right in this view.
These two photos are views looking downstream towards the northwest face
of the Lake Street Bridge. The photo above is a view from the deck of the
nearby Blake Road Bridge. The photo below is from the southwest bank of the
creek located behind an office building at the corner of Lake Street and
The photo above is looking north across the bridge deck from the entrance to
a parking lot at a large industrial building located just south of the bridge.
The photo below is looking west down the length of the bridge deck from the
sidewalk on the south side of Lake Street.
This is a view of the Lake Street Bridge from near the west corner of the
structure. This corner of the bridge has an additional length of bridge
railing running along the sidewalk, but it is painted black rather than the
green used on the bridge. The photo below is looking northeast along the
downstream face of the bridge.