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Little Fork River Bridge


Street View 


I remember this bridge quite vividly, as it was very close to the intersection that we passed through to go into Cook when I was a kid. It was demolished in 1986 after it served as a temporary bypass until the replacement slab was completed, so no NBI data exists on it. The bridge was a riveted Warren pony truss with verticals, and was very similar to most of the river crossings in this part of the state at the time. The bridge was constructed in 1931 along with the new US 53, which was built on a new alignment and replaced old Highway 11, which ran along the DWP railroad to International Falls. This bridge was the northernmost of three truss bridges within a 5-mile span on this highway. The others, a Parker through truss and another Warren pony truss, both crossed the Rice River and lasted a few more years than this one did. This bridge was replaced with a very ugly and boring concrete slab.


Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Little Fork River on US Hwy. 53
Cook, St. Louis County, Minnesota
Built 1931
Warren pony truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.85424, -92.69892   (decimal degrees)
47°51'15" N, 92°41'56" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/522522/5300143 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 46172 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


Built 1931 (894)
Built during 1930s (11,529)
Cook, Minnesota (2)
Have street view (26,374)
Lost (23,930)
Lost 1986 (149)
Lost during 1980s (1,330)
Minnesota (1,474)
Owned by state (15,700)
Pony truss (16,034)
St. Louis County, Minnesota (106)
Truss (32,318)
Warren pony truss (3,295)
Warren truss (6,439)

Update Log 

  • September 13, 2010: Added by Matthew Lohry


  • Matt Lohry


Little Fork River Bridge
Posted February 4, 2011, by Matthew Lohry

This bridge was built without a service life in mind--back then, bridges were built not only to carry traffic from one side of an obstacle to the other, but also to make an artistic statement as a reflection of the company that built it--had MNDOT properly maintained this bridge, it would surely have been relocated to a more appropriate place to continue to serve traffic. With proper care, these truss bridges will LONG outlast any modern concrete bridge. The proof of this is the Silverdale Bridge, which crossed this same river and was just removed last year. That bridge was built in 1877(!), and guess what?? It was RELOCATED to Stillwater, MN, where it will carry horse and pedestrian traffic over a busy roadway! This bridge is 134 years old, and with proper care, will last well over 200! Let's see a lousy old concrete UCEB do that!!


Little Fork River Bridge
Posted February 4, 2011, by J.P.

if you look at this website there are bridges that have been around since before the civil war that are still serving traffic in major cities none the less.

Little Fork River Bridge
Posted February 4, 2011, by Petra DeWall (petronellad [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Concrete slab span bridges may be boring but they have a longer service life than the 5o+ years the previous bridge had.