3 votes

Hastings High Bridge


Entering the bridge from the north

The first five photos were taken by Birgit while I was driving. I did slow down to allow her to get some quality shots.

Photo taken by Jason and Birgit Smith in December 2007


BH Photo #111026


Lost through arch bridge over the Mississippi River on US 61 in Hastings
Hastings, Dakota County, Minnesota, and Washington County, Minnesota
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1951; demolished and replaced 2013
- Sverdrup & Parcel of St. Louis, Missouri (Designer)
Steel through arch bridge
Length of largest span: 514.1 ft.
Total length: 1,857.4 ft.
Deck width: 32.2 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.8 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.74694, -92.85250   (decimal degrees)
44°44'49" N, 92°51'09" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/511676/4954850 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2004)
Inventory numbers
MN 5895 (Minnesota bridge number)
BH 20351 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2012)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 41.4 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 22, 2018: Updated by Amanda: Remove Street view of new bridge on page about old bridge; changed name to “Hastings High Bridge” to distinguish from new bridge
  • November 11, 2013: Updated by Jason Smith: The bridge is now gone. Last span taken down on 11 November 2013 at 4:00am.
  • June 3, 2013: Updated by Jason Smith: New bridge to open on 4 June; old bridge will come down imediately afterwards.
  • October 15, 2012: New photos from Fmiser
  • September 27, 2011: New photos from Jason Smith
  • January 8, 2011: New photos from Jason Smith
  • September 30, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added Engineer/Designer.
  • September 12, 2010: New photos from Jason Smith
  • July 6, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • February 21, 2008: Updated by James Baughn
  • February 4, 2008: New photos from Jason Smith

Related Bridges 


  • James Baughn - webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • Fmiser - fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com


Hastings Bridge
Posted November 11, 2013, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

Video of the last span coming down: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202040685686337&set=v... I will miss this bridge as this was the primary crossing I used to get from the Twin Cities to southern MN when I visit my family in the US. :-( Will have to see whether I will use the same crossing again next time....

Hastings Bridge
Posted June 5, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Unfortunately the lack of maintenance on bridges like this is not uncommon...the Madison-Milton Bridge is soon to be demolished for much of the same reason. The narrowness is something that is hard to overcome. A shame for both these beautiful spans!

Hastings Bridge
Posted June 5, 2013, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)

Demolition begins this morning. Sad scene in Hastings. I'll miss the old bridge, but I won't miss the traffic jams and narrow lanes.

Admittedly the old bridge is cool, but the new one is as well. It's too bad we couldn't have both.

Hastings Bridge
Posted June 4, 2013, by Carolyn Susor (susorcar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

True, the blue bridge is of a dying breed. I guess I was basing my opinion more on the fact that it was left to decay (not the designer's fault, of course). The view would have been great had you not had to concentrate on staying in those narrow lanes, too.

Hastings Bridge
Posted June 4, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Sorry, but I'm pretty certain that the vast majority of us on this site would tend to disagree with you Carolyn.

The new arch may well be unique, but the character and graceful design of the historic bridge is much more magnificent in my book.

Hastings Bridge
Posted June 4, 2013, by Carolyn Susor (susorcar [at] yahoo [dot] comn)

Sorry, but I won't miss Big Blue. I think Big Red is magnificent & unique!

Hastings Bridge
Posted June 3, 2013, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)
Hastings Bridge
Posted June 3, 2013, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

The days of Big Blue are officially numbered. The new tied arch bridge will open to traffic on 4 June which will feature a memorial for the old 1951 bridge. It will then be dismantled piece by piece. The bridge is expected to be gone by the end of the year. See article:

Say good-bye to Big Blue in Hastings. The Big Red Bridge is now in town and the old one will come down.


Hastings Bridge
Posted October 15, 2012, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

I drove over the bridge a few days ago. The new one appears to be a tied arch. But unlike any others I've seen, the cables supporting the deck are crossing diagonals. It will be nice to have more lanes over the river, but the old truss arch will be missed.

Hastings Bridge
Posted October 13, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

From the Official MnDOT Project Website:


All four lanes open to traffic tenatively by the end of 2013, with construction completed spring, 2014

According to the webcam and the October 11, 2011 project update, construction is ongoing.


Hastings Bridge
Posted October 12, 2011, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

Well Jake,

I would not be surprised if the date was pushed back since the state recently had a government shutdown resulting in contractors pulling out of construction projects. When I was there in August this year, there was little to no work done on the bridge. Given the current economic problems the state- let alone the country- has, I would not be surprised if the new bridge is delayed by a year or so.

BTW Luke, where did you find out about the date being pushed back by 4-5 years and are there any reasons for that?

Hastings Bridge
Posted October 12, 2011, by Jake (simpspin [at] yahoo [dot] com)

2019? I thought they bumped it up to around 2014/2015 because of the old bridge was deteriorating too quickly:

"Update—as of Spring 2008, MN-DOT has determined that the Hastings High Bridge is at the end of its life. The bridge has structural problems that are no longer economically feasible to fix. This includes a lot of rust, and a structure that has shifted enough to shear off bolts."

Source: http://www.johnweeks.com/bridges/pages/ms01.html

Hastings Bridge
Posted August 18, 2010, by Jake (simpspin [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge is the busiest two-lane bridge in the Twin Cities Metro area (MN) and it's on the fast track to be replaced beginning in 2011.

Hastings Bridge
Posted February 22, 2008, by Lugnuts (lugnuts969 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

This public domain image shows the Spiral Bridge on a postcard from the era. This was the only spiral bridge built in the United States - two others reportedly were built in Europe. There is a high bluff on the north side of the Mississippi River. This requires a long approach from the south in order to span the river at proper height and reach the bluff. The spiral allowed the bridge to terminate in downtown Hastings.

Drivers would enter the bridge in Hastings and make one complete circle before crossing the bridge. As it reached the end of its useful life, it was limited to 4 tons. After the new bridge was built, the city of Hastings did not have funds to restore and maintain the bridge, so it was lost.

The citizens of Hastings felt they lost a great landmark, and a replica has been built in a nearby park.