I remember going over both bridges with my Dad in the 70's. As someone commented it appears to line up with CR30, which is correct that was the alignment of 61 before the modern 4 lane opened in about 1969, it followed CR30 north through Wabasha, and Dodge St. south through Kellogg. The Dead Pioneer site linked in another comment has some good info and pictures included.
I remember going over both bridges with my Dad in the 70's. As someone commented it appears to line up with CR30, which is correct that was the alignment of 61 before the modern 4 lane opened in about 1969, it followed CR30 north through Wabasha, and Dodge St. south through Kellogg.
This was removed later than 1969, I remember driving over it with my Dad sometime in the mid to late 70's, however the new 4 lane section of hwy 61 was opened in about 1969 bypassing this old section of highway.
Bridge is closed to traffic due to undercutting of piers. Fate uncertain because of low traffic count and high cost of handling a historic bridge.
I have a picture
Yes, it is the same bridge. The truss was added in 1963.
Same bridge as in this photo? Sure seems like it oughta be but I don't see the truss span.
Remember, the ox was blue from the cold.
Northern Pacific bridge records give a build date of 1907. However, it appears this bridge may date to Ca. 1890.
To be dismantled and stored for reuse. Does anybody have a place where we could relocate the bridge? http://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/local_news/kern-bridge-...
They have hired an engineer who is going to replace this bridge's historic rivets with modern non historic button head bolts. It is sad that they did not want to continue working with a company like Bach Steel to do an in kind restoration such as this bridge deserves. http://www.waterfordtownshipmn.org/vertical/sites/%7BC485939...
From their website:
CURRENT PROJECT: Waterford Township received a $106,800 grant from the "State of Minnesota from the Arts & Cultural Heritage fund through the Minnesota Historical Society" to engage engineering experts in a study of the Bridge. LHB, a Minnesota based multi-disciplinary engineering firm, is conducting a study of the Bridge and preparing rehabilitation construction plans for the preservation of the Bridge. The report will detail the historic background of the Bridge, summarize its existing condition, and define the recommended repairs for its preservation. The final report is due April 30, 2019.
Now it’s closed.
Faced with an uncertain future, this bridgehunter from Minnesota, currently living in Germany, has launched a campaign to find ways to relocate and restore the Kern Bowstring Arch Bridge, the longest bridge of its kind in the US and second longest in the world. Click here, like to follow and join in on the discussions on what to do with the bridge...... https://www.facebook.com/Relocate-and-Restore-the-Historic-K...
Sometimes a backdoor makes a big time difference. ;-)
I found a file with an Authorization For Expenditure (AFE) dated 1956 regarding the modern swing span on this bridge, from the Chicago & North Western Railway Historical Society:
description - Reconctruction of swing span of Mississippi River Bridge at So. St. Paul, Minnesota.
description-additional - The old center pier was underminde by flooding to extent that bridge was unsafe for operation & complete swing span has to be removed to permit navigation.
description-continued - Center pier replacement covered by AFE-11575.
orignial estimated cost - $535,578.94
work started - 1954/07/01
work completed - 1956/11/30
completed net estimated cost - $535,578.94
remarks-1 - dept J-2349
remarks-2 - see AFE notes
- - - - -
note-1 per "details of estimated cost" pages attached to the AFE:: Construct a 400-Ft steel thru truss swing span complete with new deck, electrically operated turning machinery, operators house & machinery house replacing old 400-Ft steel swing span with engine driven turning machinery.
Upon further research, bridge plans give information that this bridge was constructed from four spans, two of 84'5" and two of 83'1", built in 1881 as an approach to a bridge at Hudson, Wisconsin. As the St. Croix River bridge was slowly filled in and rebuilt, several spans were reused for scrap. These four spans were combined to make two spans, and shipped here in 1899.
I would also assume this bridge may have a similar history:
This bridge is now doomed. They have no problems boldly announcing that the “reconstruction” includes replacement of the bridge with a new “concrete beam single span bridge”...translation: UCEB :(
Tony: there is a specific reason for these bearings. Someone did a presentation on this bridge, I think it might have been at an SIA Conference. But a brief overview is here: https://www.dot.state.mn.us/historicbridges/4700.html
I would expect to see rockers for the expansion end of a bridge from the late 1920's that looks like a DOT designed structure. Those rollers are unique, not like a traditional roller-nest but just two giant double-wheel rollers. I can't tell for sure how or if they are attached.
I also notice that just upstream is a nice round cut stone pier that survives from a lost swing-span. It appears to still have some of the rolling mechanism attached to it.
Expensive pull. No one wants to pay.
We have tried but...
Well hopefully they get going before that East abutment fails completely!
The Kern Bridge is one of the most important historic spans remaining in Minnesota... Perhaps #1
Found a couple of things about possible rehabilitation of this bridge. MNDOT has laid out four options for preservation:
A 2017 article states that this bridge is scheduled for repair:
I have been able to find nothing else on these developments.
Thinking this one came from somewhere else. Appears to be closer to 1890, and considering every other truss on this route has been relocated, it seems likely.
This Bridge partially collapsed on 24 February when the Roof fell in under the pressure of the snowpack. This is not a surprise given the fact that Minnesota has already set an all-time record for the snowiest February ever. The Bridge will be rebuilt pending on how extensive the damage is. A summary is provided below:
I took a photo of this bridge in 2011 and always thought it was something I might want to try painting. Attached is that painting. My parents live less than a mile from this bridge to the SE. My understanding is that the highway bridge was washed out in the early 60's due to spring flooding. The road was re-routed just a couple hundred yards to the north as a wooden trestle and is still used today. During the construction of the arched bridge in 1903, the workers lived in tents up in the woods of the farm just to the south.
I had sent a donation your way a while ago, when I found this site. At the time, I said I would send a picture of my finished painting.
Thanks again for recording the history on these old bridges. I tried posting on another website page, but had some difficulties. I'm glad I found this pages, so I could pass it along.
It is worth noting that this was part of US 71 until 1938, when 71's current routing on the east side of Sanborn was finished.
I finally got to drive across this bridge on my way to Minnesota from home—it’s big and fairly impressive; but honestly, I still found the lift bridge a lot more enjoyable to cross than this one.
Wondering if still available and cost. Thank you.
We inspected this bridge a few weeks ago. The water was very high due to heavy rains, so we could not get underneath the bridge (see photo). We are going back next week to finish the inspection.
Inspected this bridge this week. The substructures are rated 3 because the wingwalls have cracked and separated away from the abutments, but this hasn't changed over the past several inspection cycles.
This bridge is still open to traffic. It is posted at 4 tons. The trusses are still in place, but the stringers have been replaced with steel girders, and as such it is no longer considered fracture-critical.
A few photos from the inspection today.
PS means pre-stressed right?
Pre-stressed is actually the second term/phrase I thought of that PS could stand for. 8^)
This is Minnesota bridge no. L3462A. It is still on the Nobles County inventory and is open to traffic, although the road from the south is in very poor condition, and the north end terminates in a farmer's field. We are inspecting it this week.
This bridge is gone, replaced earlier this year by a 3-span PS concrete structure.
Even as old as the Eisenhower Bridge is, it still looks better than the UGLY new bridge. The new bridge will be an embarassment to the people who live around here, and who must look at it for the next 60 years or so. PLEASE ... Do NOT build this EYESORE! R-E-D-E-S-I-G-N !!
This is a curious one. Pictures are in the links section. Bridge appeared to have two pony trusses similar to ones recycled railroad spans used:
Any ideas on the main truss build date?
This bridge is gone, replaced by a single span PS concrete bridge (17535) in 2017.
My impression both from being there and from reading about it is that the area was a wetland, and the CCC dug a channel and built up the banks, then built the dam in such a way as to direct the lake outflow into the channel as a way to create a specific place that they could call the Mississippi headwaters, and tourists could visit.
Yes, you can wade across the Mississippi River there, it's knee deep. The dam is low, too much head would probably cause rushing water and unwanted erosion.
Itasca park is a great place to visit. Nature, lots of stone structures, a firetower (not sure if you can still climb it) and you can see Paul Bunyan and Babe at Bemidji (The first city on the Mississippi). 8^)
I have this 100 foot walking bridge that I would like to sell. Located in Westerm MN. It’s 9ft wide and roughly 9 foot tall. It’s in 2 halves right now for moving purposes. Can easily be hauled on a semi. It was built in 1912.
May be available for reuse per forum
We are trying to save this bridge and re-locate it to the Lac qui Parle county park. It would span the Lac qui Parle river.
I added the source James cited to the sources section.
Not much of a dam if the water level is the same on both sides. Just looks like they threw a bunch of rocks in. Oh and the water is only knee deep?
Per the article linked below, this is a CCC dam from the '30s with stepping stones on top to make a pedestrian path.
So basically a dam with pedestrian walkway.Certainly noteworthy for a couple of reasons.
I just added that log bridge, with photos. I also linked it to this bridge as being "Downstream".
Visited this a handful of times over the years; love the Minnesota and Wisconsin north woods.
I think it was actually built as a rock dam, but you could call it a low water crossing or ford, too. Depends on how much water is flowing out of the lake at any time, I guess.
It looks like a guy named Ben Svan waded out into the middle of the Mississippi and took that street view picture. The shadow of a guy holding a camera shows in the water.
Odd that nobody documented the log bridge next to it on BH yet. It's notable. 8^)
I just visited here. Not quite sure how to catagorize this structure. It appears to be part dam and part low-water crossing. The water level in the Mississippi River downstream of this structure is definitely lower than the water level of Lake Itasca, so it is certainly holding the water of Lake Itasca back. You can see that in the photos I just added. We can laugh as intrepid tourists hop barefoot from stone to stone, but this structure is actually fairly significant for controlling the water level of the lake and its flow into the river and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico.
You've got to love the "street view" which is from the river. Apparently Google put its street view camera in a canoe, and went quite a distance downstream.
Just needs funding, either to stabilize or pull. No one seems interested.
Thanks to Nathan for the update. The collapse of this bridge would be one of the worst losses of a bridge since the founding of this website - potentially THE worst.
It probably had the start of a problem for years, but the real serious developments have happened within the past year or two as I understand.
I have never seen this bridge in person. Has the abutment been crumbling for several years or is this a very recent development?
If this bridge is still standing, then it is now the longest historic bowstring span in all of North America. The 225 Foot Blackfriars Bridge in London, Ontario has been so significantly altered that it cannot be called historic anymore. Its basically 99% all-new material now. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/london-ontario-blackfr...
This bridge was replaced in 2017 by a single-span PS concrete bridge.
According to the Milwaukee Road Archives, this bridge was built in 1913 reusing a railroad span from bridge Z-1154 along the Iowa division.
The more miles I log, the more oddities like this I seem to find. The railroad had their standardized designs, and probably just called it whatever the chief engineer felt like calling it. I will relist this bridge as a stringer, as that seems to be the agreed upon how it functions.
Looking at Photo 8, it's not clear whether there are perpendicular diaphragms between the two middle stringers...if there are not, this could almost be classified as two narrow side-by-side deck plate girder bridges. Either way, when they're spaced evenly like this, they basically act like stringers.
It is a stringer (aka multi-beam bridge) composed of built-up beams. The steel you see perpendicular in between beams are diaphragms. Its possible the railroad loosely classified these as plate girders, but using modern terminology it is a multi-beam bridge.
I was wondering about it. A track chart and a bridge report called this a deck girder, so I assumed that was the proper design.
Looking at photo 8 I'd classify it as a steel stringer. The I-beams appear to be assembled like a plate girder but to me girder suggests two parallel main components with load being transferred to them by beams running perpendicular to the girders.
I'm not used to seeing shallow built-up I-beams like these.
There is a Ghost town not far from Lester Prairie. The town was once called St. George Village MN (Henkeltown).. Garden Ave once lead to St. George and all that remains today is the bridge. Located at 44°50'44.3"N 94°09'05.5"W.. The town disappeared in 1930's. There is no road that leads to the bridge anymore, but once connected Garden Ave as one road. South west to the St. George bridge is the old Koniska Bridge, Koniska is another lost city.
Took a best guess on design
Back in the 90's, the original bridge was in use on the east side of the newer bridge, I think, as part of a cross country ski trail. I'm not sure when the original bridge was removed, though.
One of only a few railroad trusses remaining in this area. Beautiful as is, but even better with it's original twin span:
My wife and I frequently walk our dog along the Dakota Rail and we noticed this bridge. It stands out as there is no embankment around it, looks so odd standing all alone like that. If anyone has any history on it I would love to hear it.
Here are some pics.
The bridge is now open for pedestrian use.
However, it is clear that more work needs to be done to the bridge to restore it to the quality that is advertised on a bulletin board near the bridge... so that’s probably where the 2019 date comes from.
The bridge is currently preserved for pedestrian use as of February 2018.
The railroad bridge at this location was a massive deck Truss structure approximately half a mile long. Possibly was one of the largest railroad bridges in Minnesota. I’m pretty familiar with this structure as my hometown is about half an hour away.
It's a sad sad story. Even when you think you have a lead and some hope, then that hope dies too.
FOLKS, THIS ONE IS JUST WAITING TO COLLAPSE.
The longest bowstring in the US.
Issue: Dollars, always the dollars, probably $250,000 to get it off it's crumbling abutments. We are just waiting for gravity and hydrology to take the span down.
There are no mechanisms at DOTs or SHPO to step in when there is no more time.
It really will take a miracle, or we'll be pulling another one out of the river.
Any and All ideas are welcome.
New Money - Instant Cachet -
RARE RARE RARE - Own a piece of functioning history.
Does anyone know if this bridge is in storage still?
Looks like this bridge took some serious damage from the collision earlier this fall...
Finally got to this rare example of a deck truss in Southern Minnesota. What a unique bridge!
Dana, your pics are of the CNW bridge.
So, what's my deal with all these bridges in Winona MN? I've passed through three times in the past year, and each time I find another fascinating current or historical bridge. This bridge is one of the most interesting, with a complicated history and good written and photographic records. I'm sure there's yet more to find when I make it back to this picturesque old river town. Which I plan to do when the rehab of the 1942 highway bridge is complete in 2018.
According to an article in the Minneapolis StarTribune (11/01/2017), MN DOT is trying to give away half of this bridge. The other half belongs to Canada and isn't available.
MN DOT reserves the right to approve the use of the bridge, and the recipient will need to pay for it to be moved.
The last time we inspected this bridge, in 2011, there were some very large through holes in the concrete deck, 2-3 feet in diameter. It was closed with barricades by the county, but people kept driving around them and across the bridge. Newer, more robust barricades were installed later, which seemed to be effective.
Most of these old trusses are on the local system, so it is up to the individual county or township to decide what happens to them. I am not aware of any official re-use program, although I have heard that a couple have been purchased and moved to a private location.
Ish. I hate it. They could have at least used a replacement like the Embarrass River Bridge or the West Swan River bridge that we've just seen in the forum...this is just an eyesore. As Tony has pointed out, it would sure have been nice to keep the historic bridge in place, but the county's dead-in-the-water maintenance plan did not do it any favors--it was so deteriorated that there was no feasible way to save it.
MnDOT does have some sort of re-use program in place, but only for a finite, pre-selected group. Most of these bridges are more notable and "rare" (they're ALL extremely rare now!); they seem to have considered these Warrens "common" and not worth salvaging; I don't know of any from up there that have been re-used. It's sad to see them all being wiped out; there were tons of these bridges when I was a kid; now there are none :'(
It's just sad that rehabilitation doesn't seem to be given higher priority in many of these cases where the ADT count is so low.
Don't get me wrong I'm all for public safety, but are these new structures significantly cheaper than at least sustaining repairs on the historic ones?
Joe, and/or Matt... Does Minnesota promote dismantling and storing any of these trusses for possible future trail or park reuse?
I agree; it's certainly not an historic truss, but it beats Jersey barriers any day of the week! St. Louis County has been using this bridge type on county roads for several decades now; presumably to fit in a little bit better with their "rustic" atmosphere. They use Jersey and steel barriers on state and federal highways though.
The replacement bridge, 69A30, is a 3-span steel girder bridge with timber deck and rails and a bituminous overlay. At least it isn't a UCB!
This bridge has been replaced by a single-span steel girder bridge with timber deck and rails and a bituminous overlay (Bridge No. 69A58).
This bridge is gone, replaced in 2016 by a single span prestressed concrete beam bridge (69591).
The bridge was closed earlier this month and will reopen as a pedestrian crossing in 2019. The lift span is still operating (don't know why), but the area is nice to have with less traffic.
According to the St. Louis County engineer, this bridge has been removed and a replacement is being constructed. We will be in the area in September for other bridge inspections and will verify the status of this one.
With the current demolition and replacement of the Embarrass River bridge (88773), this may be the last surviving pony truss in St. Louis County. To my knowledge it is still extant but closed. We will be up there in September for other bridge inspections and will verify the status of this one.
The Google digitize book that supplied the photo describes the Fink trusses. So I quoted the relevant part in the description and expanded the design section.
Thanks for the additional images, Luke!
The first image shows what may be a Fink or two as approach spans on the far shore. The lack of resolution makes it difficult to confirm. If the build date of 1880 is accurate, it seems quite late for a Fink truss.
Also, does anyone know the type of compression member used on the Whipples?
Pretty sure I'm seeing fink elements on the main span.
30 June 2017
See the West Central Tribune of Willmar, MN June 29/30-
Front page article about replacement & Bidletting on this Bridge --
Sad to say - It is all but gone-
This is listed as having a fink deck truss approach span. But the photos does not show any fink. What little I have found on it does not mention a Fink deck truss.
Is there really a fink?
It would be a woefully neglectful loss if this one should collapse
Field visit today: this bridge is on the verge of collapse. Severe erosion is threatening the eastern stone pier. The stones under the southeast bearing shoe are barely hanging on.
I agree with Nathan's comment; however, considering the razor-thin escape from the wrecking ball that this bridge pulled off, I'm sure happy to see carriage bolts on this historic bridge over a new, ugly, MOB, which was the plan until only a couple of years ago!
Overall this is both a good and amazing outcome for a bridge of this size. The use of bolts is a disappointment being as it is something that multiple organizations reached out to them in favor of. They could have done the rivets if they had wanted to.
I went out with my family today and took photos of the newly restored bridge. Overall good restoration; most of the rivets along the bottom chords of the bridge have been replaced with bolts and the bearings have been replaced. Other than that, mainly blast and paint, and new concrete deck.
Yea! It's nice to see a Minnesota bridge not slated for demolition.
Unlike the Eisenhower bridge http://bridgehunter.com/mn/goodhue/9040/ that I went across recently and could see that ground work is beginning for the new bridge.