Dartmouth Bridge

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Dartmouth Bridge
A look at the Dartmouth Bridge from East River Road, looking west toward central Minneapolis.
Coordinates44°57′58″N 93°13′34″W / 44.96611°N 93.22611°W / 44.96611; -93.22611Coordinates: 44°57′58″N 93°13′34″W / 44.96611°N 93.22611°W / 44.96611; -93.22611
CarriesTen lanes of I-94 / US 12 / US 52
CrossesMississippi River
LocaleMinneapolis, Minnesota
Maintained byMinnesota Department of Transportation
ID number9350
DesignSix-span welded steel girder
Total length1001 feet
Width141 feet
Longest span340 feet
Clearance below64 feet
Opened1964 (replaced 1995)
Daily traffic167,000
Minneapolis Mississippi.svg
Bridges of the Mississippi in downtown Minneapolis

The Dartmouth Bridge is a steel girder bridge that spans the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, between the Cedar-Riverside area and the University of Minnesota campus area. It carries I-94/US 12/US 52. It was built in 1964 and was designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas. It is named for its proximity to Dartmouth Avenue SE, just north of the bridge.

Dartmouth Bridge, 2012

The original span was an uninspired girder bridge design when compared to other Mississippi River bridges in the vicinity. However, the bridge carries more vehicles than any other bridge in the state (167,000 vehicles daily),[1] on Interstate 94 between downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The 125-foot (38 m) long, 148-ton box girders were fabricated in Gary, Indiana and transported up the Mississippi River by barge in October 1963.

The original span was completely demolished and rebuilt in the mid-1990s. The current span uses a steel I-beam construction supported by two bridge piers. Prior to August 2007, the bridge carried four lanes of traffic in each direction. One of these lanes on each side is used for an entrance/exit lane for Huron Boulevard (East Bank) and Riverside Avenue (West Bank). Following the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse, through traffic was detoured along a three mile (5 km) stretch of I-94 including this bridge before turning north on Minnesota State Highway 280. To support the extra traffic volume, the deck surface was repainted to temporarily carry five lanes in each direction including the auxiliary lanes. Due to favorable response, the additional lane was made permanent and currently remains in use.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2005 M.S.A.S. Traffic Volumes" (pdf). MNDOT. 2005. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
  • Costello, Mary Charlotte (2002). Climbing the Mississippi River Bridge by Bridge, Volume Two: Minnesota. Cambridge, MN: Adventure Publications. ISBN 0-9644518-2-4.