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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
France Avenue Culvert
Minnehaha Creek Street Crossing
Edina, MN

France Avenue Culvert

• Structure ID: NBI 92313.
• Location: River Mile 8.6.
• River Elevation: 853 Feet.
• Structure Type: Street Bridge.
• Construction: Corrugated Steel Culvert.
• Length: 16 Feet.
• Width: 148 Feet, 4 Lanes.
• Height Above Water: 8 Feet (Estimated).
• Date Built: 1954.
The France Avenue Culvert was installed in 1954 when this area of Edina was subdivided. The land dips about 25 feet along the creek. It was desired to level off France Avenue, so a culvert was installed and an embankment was built to carry the street. The embankment is much wider than the street at its base, resulting in the culvert being a long tunnel for canoe traffic. Canoeists often report that the culvert is spooky since you cannot see light at the far end when you enter the tunnel heading downstream. There is no view of the creek from the highway. In fact, there is no indication of a bridge or a creek other than the green highway signs that carry the creek name.

The land on the east side of France Avenue looks like a small city park. It apparently is private property. No matter the ownership, it is landlocked an difficult to access without trespassing. The property owners on the south side of the creek built the steps and walkway over the culvert that is shown in two photos below. They also built a footbridge about 75 feet downstream of the culvert. It is a very scenic location that is probably only seen by a few invited guests and the adventurous folks who canoe the Minnehaha Creek.

The photo above is a view looking north down the length of the bridge deck. The photo below is looking northeast across France Avenue towards the bridge railing on the east side of the street. The culvert is located under the clump of trees on the left side of the photo.

France Avenue Culvert
France Avenue Culvert
These two photos are views looking towards the downstream outlet of the France Avenue Culvert. The photo above is a view from the north bank of the Minnehaha Creek, while the photo below is a view from the Ewing Avenue Footbridge located 75 feet downstream.

France Avenue Culvert
France Avenue Culvert
The photo above is looking south down the length of the bridge deck. The photo below is a view of the bridge railing on the west side of France Avenue. Once cannot see the creek from either side of the street.

France Avenue Culvert

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