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West Swan River Bridge



Lost Pony truss bridge over West Swan River on CR 965
St. Louis County, Minnesota
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1921
Pony truss
Length of largest span: 51.8 ft.
Total length: 55.1 ft.
Deck width: 17.1 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.25833, -92.85250   (decimal degrees)
47°15'30" N, 92°51'09" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/511159/5233882 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Little Swan
Average daily traffic (as of 2003)
Inventory numbers
MN 7812 (Minnesota bridge number)
BH 20637 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2015)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 45.1 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • November 21, 2016: Updated by Matt Lohry: This bridge has been replaced.


  • Matt Lohry


West Swan River Bridge
Posted September 21, 2017, by Joe Fishbein (jmfmando [at] gmail [dot] com)

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.

West Swan River Bridge
Posted September 19, 2017, by Matt Lohry

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 :'(

West Swan River Bridge
Posted September 18, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

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?

West Swan River Bridge
Posted September 18, 2017, by Matt Lohry

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.

West Swan River Bridge
Posted September 18, 2017, by Joe Fishbein (jmfmando [at] gmail [dot] com)

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!