MN 77 Minnesota River Aerial Image

These images are courtesy of the National Agriculture Imagery Program, a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and were taken in 2005.

This view, at 9-feet-per-pixel resolution, shows the current MN 77/Cedar Ave crossing of the Minnesota River.  MN 77 runs north-south, with Old Cedar Ave paralleling it (on opposite sides on either side of the river).  The black line along the river represents the Hennepin/Dakota County line.  The white line running south from the river is the Burnsville/Eagan city line.

This crossing was completed in 1980, and is the longest bridge wholly within the state of Minnesota.  It is a 6-lane crossing with a wide right shoulder for bus use.  It is almost impossible to tell on here, but the new bridge has a steel overhead truss on each side in the part that crosses the river proper.

You can also see where old Cedar Ave traveled through here.  At the time known as MN 36, Old Cedar Ave crossed the river on a swing bridge that was built in 1890.  This crossing became a considerable bottleneck, which led to the current bridge being built.  You can see the path of the old route, and the location where the swing bridge used to be.  One remnant of this old crossing is the bridge that crosses the backwaters on the northwest side of the river, across Long Meadow Lake.  This bridge has steel overhead truss, and even has a wooden deck!  Vehicle traffic was prohibited from the Long Meadow Lake bridge ca. 1993, but bicycles and pedestrians were still allowed (to access the Minnesota River crossing underneath the new Cedar Ave bridge).  However, by 2002 the bridge condition deteriorated to the point where even bicycles and pedestrians were prohibited from the bridge.  The city of Bloomington is working with regional partners to secure funding to renovate the old bridge so that bikes and peds can once again use it.  The latest cost estimate as of early 2008 was in the neighborhood of $6 million.

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Page last modified 25 April, 2008