BNSF Maryland Avenue Bridge

Concrete Encased Beam Bridge over Maryland Avenue
St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name BNSF Maryland Avenue Bridge
Built By Northern Pacific Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 140 Feet Total, 40 Foot Main Spans
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Concrete Encased Beam and Concrete Slab
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1928
Traffic Count 90 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 3.35
Significance Local Significance
In 1885, the Saint Paul & Northern Pacific Railroad would build a line from Northtown in Minneapolis, to 7th Street in Saint Paul; a distance of 15 miles.
The line served as a connection point, with several lines heading west at Northtown, and connections to Chicago at St. Paul.
The railroad became part of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1896, which had constructed many lines expanding to the west coast.
The railroad continued to serve as a mainline, being double tracked very soon after construction.

By 1970, the NP merged with rival Great Northern, as well as Chicago, Burlington & Quincy to form Burlington Northern.
BN continued to maintain this as a high priority line. By 1996, the BN merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway to form BNSF Railway.
BNSF continues to operate this line as the St. Paul Subdivision, and is the busiest section of track in Minnesota.

This bridge is a standard, four span concrete slab bridge. It features an Art Deco design, popular post-World War I.
Built in 1928, the bridge design is standardized, with many railroad companies using the exact same designs between ca. 1910 and 1930 for grade separation projects, such as this.
In addition, the bridge is representative of a well maintained structure, not failing like many others. The main spans are built of I-Beams, while the approach spans are built of true slabs.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition.

The author has ranked the bridge as being locally signficiant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Northern Pacific Bridge Book, provided by Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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