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Silverdale Bridge

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Photos 

Close-up of portal from the south

Photo taken by Matthew Lohry in August 2009

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Map 

A few structural features 

Written by Matthew Lohry

There are so many reasons to preserve this beautiful structure, and I am happy that MNDOT and Washington County both recognize its historical and aesthetic value. First, the bridge is constructed of wrought iron, which fell out of fashion long before the turn of the 20th century. Wrought iron takes much longer to corrode than steel does, and in that respect, lasts much longer (which explains the low levels of rust on the bridge). However, steel is lighter, stronger, and easier to work with than wrought iron and ultimately replaced it as the material of choice by the end of the 1800's. Second, every member of this bridge is built up with either V-lacing or lattice, features that to me makes a truss bridge much more beautiful and artistic in appearance than one made up of rolled I-beams or built-up angles. This bridge has V-lacing on both the top and the bottom of the upper chord, which also was gone by the turn of the century--most bridge builders and designers had enclosed the upper chords on all but the bottom side, using V-lacing, lattice (or X-bracing), or batten plates. The bridge's silver main chords and black intermediate verticals and diagonals add to the visual appeal. Its one-lane wood deck is in excellent condition, and the wood substructure also appears to be in good shape. The substructure and steel approaches are not part of the original structure--they were added in 1937 when the bridge was moved to this very beautiful and scenic part of the state. As of now, the bridge has been removed and is in the process of being restored in preparation of its move to Washington County, where with proper care, it should stand for another 133 years!!

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Little Fork River on MN 65
Location
Koochiching County, Minnesota
Status
Open to pedestrians
History
Built 1877
Design
Camelback through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 162.1 ft.
Total length: 378.0 ft.
Deck width: 17.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.0 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 13, 1998
Also called
Zeleznikar Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.97622, -93.14372   (decimal degrees)
47°58'34" N, 93°08'37" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/489274/5313667 (zone/easting/northing)
USGS topographic map
Rauch
Inventory numbers
MN 5721 (Minnesota bridge number)
NRHP 98000717 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 20468 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 08/2007)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 20.2 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2004)
30

Update Log 

  • November 15, 2010: Updated by Matthew Lohry: Updated status
  • October 7, 2010: Updated by Matthew Lohry: Updated destination location: This bridge is moving to Washington County, MN
  • February 1, 2010: Updated by Matthew Lohry: Added photos

Comments 

Silverdale Bridge
Posted June 19, 2011, by Spanfan (susorcar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I just biked the Gateway Trail today & the bridge isn't open yet. Looks like it may be a few more weeks. It is a beauty, though!

Silverdale Bridge
Posted May 22, 2011, by Matt Lohry

This bridge has been installed and is almost ready for pedestrian/horse traffic!! The Gateway Trail website (see link in links section) has a photo of the bridge installed over Manning Avenue. Once the trail is open, I will get photos.

Silverdale Bridge
Posted December 6, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Will look forward to seeing the completed bridge at it's new home!

Silverdale Bridge
Posted December 6, 2010, by Matthew Lohry (matthewlohry [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I've added a link to the website that is reporting the progress on the installation of this bridge. At this time, projected completion date is this month (December 2010|).

Silverdale Bridge
Posted November 27, 2010, by Matthew Lohry (matthewlohry [at] yahoo [dot] com)

According to the Gateway Trail website, this bridge is to be installed December of 2010. A previous comment mentioned that the bridge is to be painted Spring of 2011, but it appears by the photographs that it has been repainted already--the bridge was black and silver, but now looks to be some sort of blue color. Perhaps the website did not update another delay, but it does mention December 2010 at this time.

Silverdale Bridge
Posted November 26, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Glad to see this one saved.......a very unique bridge indeed!

Silverdale Bridge
Posted November 26, 2010, by Ben Thorson (bthorson [at] minnowa [dot] com)

The bridge is all erected now and sitting next to the trail where it will be set in the spring of 2011. Due to the unique nature of this erection, many of the parts that were replaced took a long time to fabricate. It will be painted in April and set in May. The deck will consist of Lightweight Concrete. The railings will be made using parts of the exsisting rail members as well as stainless steel cables. On another note, the concrete abutments were cast using a board-form liner to resemble methods used in the early days.

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Silverdale Bridge
Posted November 16, 2010, by Matthew Lohry (matthewlohry [at] yahoo [dot] com)
Silverdale Bridge
Posted November 16, 2010, by Matthew Lohry (matthewlohry [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Jason, the bridge will be installed over Manning Avenue a few miles north of MN36 where the Gateway Trail crosses over. This is of particular excitement for me, as I grew up not far from this bridge's Koochiching County location, and I had heard a few years ago that it was scheduled for demolition, which would have been an unthinkable way to treat a bridge that has been in service for nearly 135 years! Indeed, the Stillwater Lift Bridge is the other structure I was referring to. I'm looking forward to this project's completion, and I will take and post photos. Now, if we can only get someone to install railings that aren't ugly and overpowering...

Silverdale Bridge
Posted November 16, 2010, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

Whereabouts will the bridge be installed? I plan to visit the Twin Cities over the holidays and would like to visit it. I take it the Stillwater Lift Bridge is the other bridge that is close to the Silverdale structure?

Silverdale Bridge
Posted November 15, 2010, by Matthew Lohry (matthewlohry [at] yahoo [dot] com)

UPDATE: This bridge is now sitting next to its new location in Washington County, just outside of Stillwater. Prep work is nearly completed, and the bridge is projected to be in place in December 2010. These folks now have two extremely significant metal truss bridges within a couple miles of eachother. Luckies!!!!!

Silverdale Bridge
Posted October 8, 2010, by Matthew Lohry

It really confuses me why Koochiching County would NOT want to keep it!?!?!!!?!!?

Silverdale Bridge
Posted October 8, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is a real beauty! Love the lacing on the endposts and upper chords, and the double-laced struts are special. Glad to see it is being preserved for future generations, as it is undoubtedly one of the oldest Camelbacks in existence.

Silverdale Bridge
Posted October 8, 2010, by Spanfan (susorcar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I'm glad they're placing it on the Gateway Trail. Can't wait to go over it!!

Little Fork River Bridge
Posted July 12, 2009, by Greg Brohman (gbrohman [at] Nashwauk [dot] net)

This bridge has been recently replaced and will once again be moved to a new location.

[This wood decked bridge was built in 1877 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Around 1937, this 378 foot long wrought iron bridge was disassembled, transported and re-established at its current location to allow Highway 65 to go over the Little Fork River in this very remote wilderness area.

The Robert R. Schroeder Construction Company of Glenwood, Mn has started work on constructing a new bridge over the Littlefork River just downstream from the Silverdale Bridge. During this $6 million project, the present Silverdale Bridge will carry Highway 65 traffic until the new bridge is completed late in 2008. ]

http://www.peraugust.com/history_day.htm

[The Zeleznikar Bridge, This wood decked bridge was built in 1877 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Sometime around 1937, this 378 foot long wrought iron bridge was disassembled, transported and re-established at its current location to allow then new Highway 65 to cross the Little Fork River in this very remote wilderness area. This bridge is scheduled to be replaced in a few years by the Minnesota Highway Department as this is State Highway #65. This highway starts north of the City of Little Fork which is about 60 miles north of this bridge. This road continues south through downtown Minneapolis and as far as you can drive.]

http://www.peraugust.com/images/grs003.jpg

http://one-mn.com/project02.html

Silverdale Bridge #5721

Client: HNTB

Owner: Mn/DOT

Future Location: Stillwater, MN

The Silverdale bridge is an 1870s iron through truss currently located in southeastern Koochiching County. It is one of 24 historic bridges identified by Mn/DOT for preservation. The bridge will be completely dismantled and scanned using laser scanning survey equipment to measure each member's geometric properties. The bridge will then be transported, rehabilitated, and reassembled near Stillwater, MN. It will carry the Gateway Trail (A DNR equestrian trail) over Manning Avenue. The project requires coordination with the Department of Natural Resources.

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