1 vote

Winona Bridge


Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

BH Photo #114819

Street Views 


This historic bridge over the Mississippi River at Winona now carries one-way eastbound traffic. After a new parallel bridge was built to carry the traffic, it was closed starting in 2016 for a complete reconstruction. On July 1, 2019 the ribbon was cut to reopen this bridge to eastbound traffic, with the new parallel bridge now carrying only westbound traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians.


Through truss bridge over Mississippi River on eastbound MN 43 in Winona
Winona, Winona County, Minnesota
Open to two lanes of one-way eastbound traffic
Future prospects
Preserved as eastbound half of a two-way couplet.
Built 1941; rehabilitated 1985, 2008; closed 2016 for reconstruction and reopened July 1, 2019.
- Minneapolis Bridge Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota (South approach to Main Channel bridge)
- Minnesota Highway Department
- Wisconsin State Highway Commission
Cantilevered Warren through truss main span with Warren deck truss and concrete beam approach spans.
Length of largest span: 450.2 ft.
Total length: 2,288.5 ft. (0.4 mi.)
Deck width: 30.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 18.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.05768, -91.64004   (decimal degrees)
44°03'28" N, 91°38'24" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/608928/4879178 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Winona West
Average daily traffic (as of 2004)
Inventory numbers
MN 5900 (Minnesota bridge number)
BH 20674 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2016)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 24.3 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • June 26, 2021: New Street View added by Roger Deschner
  • October 6, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge reopened to traffic July 1, 2019
  • June 17, 2018: New photo from John Bernhisel
  • October 17, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge is entirely in Minnesota. Removed mention of Wisconsin.
  • January 30, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge now closed for rehab
  • February 8, 2016: New video from Roger Deschner
  • September 14, 2010: New photos from Jason Smith
  • July 19, 2010: New photos from Nate Ahrensfeld
  • January 22, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Bridge's fate is uncertain, likely will be replaced.
  • June 6, 2008: New photos from Historic American Engineering Record
  • June 4, 2008: Bridge failed inspection on June 3

Related Bridges 



Winona Bridge
Posted September 22, 2021, by Joe Fishbein (jmfmando [at] gmail [dot] com)

Truss bridges by their nature are considered "fracture critical" due to the lack of redundancy in the tension members. During the recent rehab, these bars were added to provide some redundancy to those members.

Winona Bridge
Posted June 28, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


Those look like supplemental hanger rods that were added to provide either additional strength or protection for the tension members of the truss, and they would continue through the length of the members. The repair appears typical throughout the truss. What you were seeing were the ends of the rods and the nuts. I did not see them in my pre-rehab photo gallery so I assume they were added in the recent rehab: https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=m...

Winona Bridge
Posted June 26, 2021, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

I was just in Winona, and crossed the Mississippi River in both directions (in a heavy rain). The new westbound bridge has a higher deck than the historic eastbound bridge, giving a great close view of the upper chord of the old bridge.

I noticed some odd spike shaped structures on top of each upper chord gusset plate. You can easily see them from the new street view I just posted. What are these? Did they exist on the bridge before its rehab? None of the HAER photos show these, but they did not focus on the upper chord.

Are these for lightning protection? Are they for electronic stress monitoring?

Winona Bridge
Posted February 11, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Runner-up, Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge US/Canada - 2019 Authors Choice Awards, The Bridgehunter's Chronicles. https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/01/11/201...

Winona Bridge
Posted October 6, 2019, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

The bridge was reopened with appropriate pomp and ceremony on July 1, 2019. Article: https://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/winona-bridge-is-bac...

This has got to be a big win-win for both historic bridge preservation and infrastructure upgrades, proving that the concept of reusing the historic bridge as half of a one-way couplet is valid and working, with some compromises like losing parts of the approach spans to keep it within budget.

Winona Bridge
Posted June 20, 2019, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

I was just in Winona. The project is nearing completion - with a significant improvement.

The only part of the approach spans that has been replaced is the westernmost portion, which I believe was originally steel stringer. The deck truss portions of both approach spans appear to have been preserved and rehabilitated, along with the main through truss span. On the west, the two highest deck truss approach spans, and the entire deck truss east approach, have been kept and rehabilitated. Though the westernmost section is now a UCEB, at least the new bents have a similar form to the rest of the original bridge. This should be regarded overall as a win.

This bridge will reopen soon to eastbound one-way traffic. A 78 year old steel truss bridge, renewed for another 78 years. I bet it outlasts the new concrete box girder bridge parallel to it.

Winona Bridge
Posted January 30, 2017, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Apparently good news here. After some uncertainty over cost, MNDOT will rehab the main steel truss spans of the old bridge after all, but they'll completely replace the approach spans in what appears to be a compromise to keep the overall project within budget. They will be replaced one at a time to maintain contractor access for rehabbing the main steel truss spans at the same time. First Minnesota end, then Wisconsin. So it will indeed wind up as an old/new couplet of 1-way bridges.

I was just through Winona, and I drove across the new westbound bridge. It has opened to 2-way traffic until work on the old bridge is completed and it's reopened for eastbound traffic in 2019. Demolition work has begun on the west (Minnesota) approach spans.


Winona Bridge
Posted February 23, 2016, by Andy Peters (anpete1971 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Will Minnesota DOT renege on bridge promise?


Winona Bridge
Posted February 8, 2016, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Here we see a fine two-bridge solution under construction. The new concrete box-girder bridge will carry westbound traffic, while the historic truss bridge will carry eastbound traffic. Temporarily, the new bridge will carry both directions, while the old bridge is closed for a thorough rehabilitation. The slim profile of the new bridge will not interfere much with sight lines of the historic truss bridge, especially from the south and the Downtown Winona riverfront.

I only wish such an arrangement could be worked out for a couple of other historic bridges facing demolition, such as Savannah-Sabula. http://bridgehunter.com/il/carroll/8600001777/

Winona Bridge
Posted October 22, 2013, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)
Winona Bridge
Posted October 17, 2013, by Jake (simpspin [at] yahoo [dot] com)

It's good they're keeping the old bridge. In MN, it's somewhat rare to see an old bridge and a new bridge side by side. The last old/newer bridge combo I can recall was the I-94 bridge over the St. Croix river that lasted till the mid-90's when the old bridge was demolished.

Winona Bridge
Posted October 17, 2013, by Don Morrison
Winona Bridge
Posted October 17, 2013, by Don Morrison

Sounds like they want a two bridge solution here, with a new girder bridge taking some of the load off this historic bridge. http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/winonabridge/docs/ea....