The 44th Street Bridge appears to be located in a sleepy little neighborhood
nestled between the Minnehaha Creek and the highway MN-100 freeway. Looks
can be a little deceiving, however. 44th Avenue is one of the few through
east and west streets on the north side of Edina. As a result, this bridge
sees an estimated 3,700 vehicles per day. That is pretty busy for a
neighborhood street. In fact, I had to wait several minutes in some cases
for traffic to pass so I could get photos with no cars on the road near the
The 44th Street Bridge is a concrete slab bridge. This type of bridge does
not have a steel or concrete beam structure holding it up. Rather, the
thick concrete bridge deck is both the structural member as well as the
surface that carries vehicle traffic. This type of bridge tends to be
over ordinary looking. In this case, however, the bridge was dressed up
with a vertical line design in the concrete, a bit of stonework, and fancy
metal railings. The net result is a very pretty little bridge that fits in
well in this neighborhood. One interesting feature is located at the southeast
corner of the structure. North Avenue is located very close to the creek.
A retaining wall was built to hold back North Avenue. The bridge deck and
railings wrap around the corner and extend about 25 feet south down from
The photo above is looking northwest across the deck of the 44th Street
Bridge. North Avenue branches off to the right in this photo.
The photo above is looking upstream from the east bank of the Minnehaha
Creek. The photo below is looking west down the length of the bridge
deck. A bridge carrying the Soo Line Railroad over 44th Avenue is visible
in the background.
The photo above is looking west down the upstream face of the bridge. The
photo below is looking est down the downstream face of the bridge. The
bridge deck extends to the south along a retaining wall that holds North
Avenue from falling into the creek.