Address: Franklin Avenue at the Mississippi River
Neighborhood: Seward / Prospect Park
Construction Date: 1919-1923
Engineer: Oustad Engineers, Frederick William Cappelen
Architectural Style: N/A
Historic Use: Transportation - Bridge
Current Use: Transportation - Bridge
Date of Local Designation: 1985
Date of National Register Designation: 1978
Area(s) of Significance: Engineering, Transportation
Period of Significance: 1900-
Historic Profile: Connecting south and southeast Minneapolis, the Franklin Avenue Bridge was constructed between 1919 and 1923. Two prominent Norwegian engineers, Frederick William Cappelen and Kristoffer Olsen Oustad were commissioned to plan, design, and construct a bridge that would cross the Mississippi River, a distance of over 1,000 feet. In order to convey a sense of permanence and beauty in the scenic surroundings, the engineers chose a steel reinforced arched concrete bridge. The Franklin Avenue Bridge gained notoriety at the time of its construction for including the longest concrete arch in the world. The total length of the bridge is 1054 feet with a vertical clearance of 88 feet. In 1971, the bridge was closed and reconditioned. When it re-opened it included four lanes of traffic and pedestrian walkways. Engineer Frederick William Cappelen died during the construction of the bridge, and as a memorial to his life and career, the bridge still bears his name.
1923, Charles J. Hibbard, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society
2006, Minneapolis CPED
"National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," May 1978.