Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Historic Bridges

Third Avenue Bridge (Bridge 2440)

Third Avenue Bridge (Bridge 2440)

Third Avenue Bridge
See features of the bridge

History & significance

The Third Avenue Bridge spans the Mississippi River near St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis. Constructed between 1914 and 1918, it is an example of Melan arch construction. The patented Melan arch design uses a concrete reinforcing system with metal I-beams curved to the form of the arch and embedded in concrete. The bridge features five concrete arch spans, each carried by three arched ribs, and Classical Revival detailing, including an ornamental metal and concrete railing added in 1939. The reverse S-curve alignment and spacing of the arches was intended to avoid dangerous limestone breaks. It also produced an aesthetic form that added to the bridge’s overall image as a gateway to downtown Minneapolis. The Third Avenue Bridge is significant as the last major reinforced-concrete Melan arch bridge constructed in the Twin Cities. It is also a contributing element to the St. Anthony Falls Industrial Historic District.

Location

City of Minneapolis (Hennepin County)
Latitude, Longitude: 44.98341615, -93.25885814

Bridge features

Third Avenue Bridge

Melan-system reinforced-concrete arches.

Third Avenue Bridge
Reverse S-curve alignment.
Third Avenue Bridge

Classic Revival aesthetic treatment.

Third Avenue Bridge
St. Anthony Falls setting.