Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

According to Biotionary, Minneapolis is the largest city in the US state of Minnesota with a population of 390,131 in 2009. It is also the 47th largest city in the United States. The city is located in the southeast of the state of Minnesota and west of the state capital, Saint Paul. The city is nicknamed City of the Lakes (meaning ‘city of the lakes’). Minneapolis originated near the highest waterfalls in the Mississippi River, the Saint Anthony Falls. On August 1, 2007a 40-year-old road bridge had collapsed. Many cars have disappeared and 13 people have died. Together with Saint Paul, it forms the Minneapolis-St.Paul metropolitan area. The cities are close to each other and are good friends.

Partner cities

  • Eldoret (Kenya)
  • Harbin (China)
  • Tours (France)
  • Novosibirsk (Russia)
  • Ibaraki (Japan)
  • Kuopio (Finland)
  • Santiago (Chili)
  • Najaf (Iraq)
  • Cuernavaca (Mexico)
  • Uppsala (Sweden)

Minnesota History

A painting commemorating the Dakota War of 1862

Originally the state was inhabited by Native Americans before the European settlers came here. To be precise: the Anishinaabe, the Sioux and the Dakota Indians. The first Europeans to explore Minnesota were French fur-trading settlers around 1600 AD. After a few years, another Indian people emigrated to this area. Those were the Ojibwe Indians. The area east of the Mississippi River became part of the United States when the American Civil War ended. This happened when the Second Treaty of Paris was signed. The western side of the Mississippi was assigned to Louisiana Purchase. Yet part of the west was still disputed by the United States. In the year 1805, Zebulon Pike negotiated with the Native Americans of Minnesota to build an American fort at the confluence of the Minnesota River and Mississippi. The Indians agreed and a fortress was indeed built there. The fort was called Fort Snelling. That fortress was in the area where Saint-Paul is now located. All kinds of things were built at that fort, including a mill and a sawmill. That sawmill was built at Saint Anthony Falls. Saint Anthony Falls was a waterfall. Today it is a dam. All kinds of houses were built around those sawmills, from which Minneapolis would be born. The Indians were treated worse and worse in the area and as a result they revolted. War even broke out, namely the Dakota War of 1862. The war lasted only six weeks, but there were bloody battles. As many as 800 white settlers died during the war. But they did win. Logging and farming began to support the Minnesota economy from the end of that war. The sawmills in Saint Anthony Falls grew into centers of logging. Minneapolis and Saint Paul were born. Especially because the cities were located on rivers, it was easy to transport. Many millers came to live in the settlements. Later, mining even started in Minnesota. The industry was also important to Minnesota’s economy. There was even an iron industry. From the year 1900 there was a great migration from the countryside to the big cities (Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and so on). For a long time, the state was hit by drought. Agriculture did not go well. After World War II, Minnesota’s economy and education boomed. Farming was now almost entirely done by machines or tractors. Many new technologies came to the industry. Universities were founded in the big cities. For the first time, there were now many financial services in Minnesota.

Minnesota Geography & Nature

A lake in Minnesota at sunset

Minnesota is the northernmost state in the US after Alaska. It is geographically located in the upper Midwest of America. The state borders the US states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario. Some of the oldest rocks on Earth have been found in Minnesota. Sometimes they are as old as 3.6 billion years. Those towns are remnants of a volcanic rock northeast of Minnesota. The volcanism has stopped there and so these stones remained. About 1 billion years ago, the volcanic rock died. During the Ice Age, there were many ice sheets over Minnesota. There were all glaciers back then in Minnesota. The ice sheets devastated the landscape of then in Minnesota and shaped the landscape in the state today. The highest point in Minnesota is Eagle Mountain. That is about 701 meters high. The elevations in the state often vary a lot. There are both low spots and high spots. Minnesota isn’t called “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” for nothing. There are many lakes in the state. A total of 11,842 lakes. The largest lake in Minnesota is Lake Superior. Also, Lake Superior is the deepest lake in the state. There are also many rivers and streams. In total even 6,564 rivers/streams. Those rivers and streams are full of all kinds of fish. The state has four types of ecology. These are prairies (in southwestern and western Minnesota), deciduous forest (in southeastern Minnesota), tallgrass prairies (northwest), and mixed forest (north). In the northern forests are many pines and spruces. You can also sometimes encounter a birch or a poplar. Northern Minnesota has most of the state’s logging. There are many national forests and national parks there. Many animals from Minnesota are extinct. That is because man has developed too much in the state. Here are a few examples of animals that are almost impossible to find here: moose, pine marten, bison, caribou and whitetail deer. Minnesota has the second largest wolf population in the United States after Alaska. There are also many black bears. Thousands of birds migrate to Minnesota every year to forage or breed. Especially waterfowl, wild birds and birds of prey stay here for a long time. The birds often nest near the rivers. Examples of birds that nest here are pheasants, ducks, buzzards and snowy owls. The lakes and rivers are teeming with fish. Especially pike are caught here a lot. Minnesota has a continental climate. It is cold in winter and hot in summer. The lowest temperature ever here was 51 degrees below zero and the highest 45 degrees. There are often snow storms in winter. Average temperatures often range from 2 degrees to 9 degrees. Cold summers often have temperatures ranging from 9 degrees to 14 degrees. Minnesota has quite a lot of precipitation (=rain) every year.

Winona Bridge

Winona Bridge
Spans Mississippi River
Lanes 2×2
Total length 697 meters
Main span 137 meters
Bridge deck height ? meter
Opening 21-11-1942 / 27-08-2016
Traffic intensity 11,300 mvt/day
Location Map

The Main Channel Bridge or Winona Bridge is a cantilever truss bridge and box girder bridge in the United States, located on the border of the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. The bridge spans the Mississippi River at Winona.


The Main Channel Bridge is distinguished from the North Channel Bridge.

The Main Channel Bridge consists of two separate bridges next to each other, on the south side is an older steel cantilever truss bridge of 697 meters in length, with a main span of 137 meters. The bridge is 9.4 meters wide and has two lanes off State Route 43 toward Wisconsin. The newer bridge is a concrete box girder bridge and has two lanes of traffic toward Minnesota. The bridge handles regional traffic, on the Minnesota side is the town of Winona, on the Wisconsin side there are no places in the immediate vicinity. The bridge is toll-free.

The North Channel Bridge is a separate bridge spanning a tributary of the Mississippi River. This is a two -lane girder bridge. The state line between the two states is at the North Channel Bridge.


The first bridge was believed to be the Old Duke Bridge which opened in 1916. The section across the North Channel of the Mississippi River still exists as a concrete arch bridge with a raised deck. The Main Channel Bridge was built in 1941-1942 and was opened to traffic on November 21, 1942. The bridge was renovated in 1985 and 2008.

The bridge was structurally deficient and had to be replaced or renovated. The bridge has the same type of gusset plates connecting the truss structure as the I-35W Mississippi Bridge that collapsed in 2007. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has chosen to renovate the existing bridge and build a second span next to it.

The existing bridge retained its original appearance. A two-lane concrete box girder bridge has been constructed on the north side, increasing the capacity of the river crossing from 1×2 to 2×2 lanes. There is also a bicycle/footpath on the new bridge. However, the North Channel Bridge has not been modified or increased in capacity. The new bridge has the same dimensions in length as the existing bridge, but the bridge deck is a bit higher. The groundbreaking ceremony was on July 18, 2014. The renovation and new construction cost between $150 and 175 million and was completed between July 2014 and July 2019. The new bridge was opened on August 27, 2016. Afterwards, the old bridge was renovated, which was supposed to extend its lifespan by 50 years. The entire project was completed on July 1, 2019.

Traffic intensities

Every day 11,300 vehicles cross the bridge.

Minneapolis, Minnesota