Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Abandoned Bridge Put to Use for Bikes

 Stone Arch Bridge in Downtown Minneapolis.
(Why so yellow?)
Picture taken from The "New" Guthrie Theater has a yellow windowed observation deck on the 9th floor. 

Cyclist stops to take in the view of St. Anthony Falls.

The Stone Arch Bridge is a railroad bridge built in 1883 by James J Hill, for the amazing sum of $650,000 dollars.  That was a lot of bucks for the day.   They had to put a curve in it, due to land claim issues, but that made it an even more striking bridge.  Above it is St. Anthony Falls, which are the only falls on the whole of the Mississippi.  The falls are now a lock and dam.  

Today,  the Stone Arch Bridge is a bicycle and pedestrian bridge.  It has become a tourist attraction, too.  I don't live far from it and use it all the time, in all seasons.  Sometimes I even go out of my way to ride over it.  It's such a beautiful bridge in the oldest part town.  The city of Minneapolis is where it is, because of the St. Anthony Falls.  The falls were used to produce power for the grain mills.  The town was originally called St. Anthony.

Right now, the falls are raging with all the water, melted from snow.  A mist from the falls actually reaches the bridge.  As Summer comes, it'll die down to a more relaxed flow.  We have one other train bridge that has become a bike bridge, down river, at the University.  I'd really love to see us take over an auto bridge instead limiting future options for train transport, though.  Trains are a much more efficient means of transporting goods than trucks... but not as efficient as bikes... of course!

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