Jason Smith

About Me 

Email: flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com

I became fascinated with bridges when I was five years old, mainly because where I grew up, Jackson County, MN, we had plenty of metal truss bridges to go around. This includes the Petersburg Road Bridge which was located in the south end of town just north of where my grandma used to live. I became fascinated with the different designs and the history of each structure that I started photographing the structures at a young age, 13 to be exact. In addition to that, I also wrote some commentaries on the bridges and conducted some presentations on them, the former of which I still do for this website, as well as Nathan Holth's website.

Since a lot of these bridges are disappearing, I have been active in photographing them as long as they are still standing. Furthermore, I have an online column that is devoted to this topic through the Bridgehunter's Chronicles, which started in 2010 and has become popular ever since. I also have some book projects in the making both big and small dealing with these structures in certain regions, including Iowa (where I have been really active in that area). Originally from Minnesota, I've ben residing in Germany since 1999, where I'm an English lecturer/trainer and have a wife and 6-year old daughter, who might have the same interest as I do in the future, the way we've been travelling around since she came around. ;-)

Favorite Photos 

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John A. Blatnik Bridge (Douglas County, Wisconsin)

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Oblique view

Castlewood Bridge (at Threshing Grounds) (Grant County, South Dakota)

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Petersburg Bridge J

Petersburg Road Bridge (Jackson County, Minnesota)
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Okabena Br

Okabena Bridge (Jackson County, Minnesota)

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Recent Updates 

CSX - Black River Bridge (St. Clair County, Michigan)
Warren through truss with all verticals bridge over Black River on Pere Marquette Railroad (abandoned)
November 3, 2020: Updated by Jason Smith: The bridge is officially doomed.
Millbrook Bridge (Kendall County, Illinois)
Pratt through truss bridge over Fox River on former alignment of Whitfield Road
August 26, 2020: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been demolished
John A. Blatnik Bridge (Douglas County, Wisconsin)
Steel through arch bridge over St. Louis Bay on I-535/US 53 between Duluth and Superior
August 4, 2020: New photos
IAIS - Booneville Bridge (Dallas County, Iowa)
Quadrangular lattice truss bridge over Racoon River on Iowa Interstate Railroad
July 22, 2020: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been demolished.
WLE - Speers Bridge (Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania)
K-deck truss bridge over the Monongahela River on the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway between Belle Vernon and Speers
May 12, 2020: New photos
US 71 West Fork Des Moines River Bridge (Jackson County, Minnesota)
Steel stringer bridge over West Fork Des Moines River on US 71 in Jackson
April 29, 2020: New photos
Petersburg Road Bridge (Jackson County, Minnesota)
Lost through truss bridge over West Fork Des Moines River on Petersburg Road in Jackson
April 29, 2020: New photo
Okabena Bridge (Jackson County, Minnesota)
Lost through truss bridge over Jack Creek on CSAH 9 at Okabena
April 29, 2020: New photo
Okoboji Bridge (Dickinson County, Iowa)
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Little Sioux River on 180th Avenue
March 11, 2020: Updated by Jason Smith: Bridge has been relocated to Parks Marina and is privately owned. To be repurposed and reused as a pedestrian crossing soon.
Castlewood Bridge (at Threshing Grounds) (Grant County, South Dakota)
Thacher through truss bridge over South Fork Whetstone River Tributary at the Twin Brooks Threshing Grounds
March 6, 2020: New photos
Castlewood Bridge (at Threshing Grounds) (Grant County, South Dakota)
Thacher through truss bridge over South Fork Whetstone River Tributary at the Twin Brooks Threshing Grounds
March 6, 2020: Updated by Jason Smith: Updated the information and added photos
Falls Park Bridge (Minnehaha County, South Dakota)
Lost Through truss bridge over Big Sioux River at Falls Park on Falls Park Dr. and McClellan Street Bridge in Sioux Falls
February 19, 2020: Updated by Jason Smith: Updated the information per post.
Gold Mine Bridge (Redwood County, Minnesota)
Parker through truss bridge over Minnesota River on CR 17
August 6, 2019: Updated by Jason Smith: Updated information on the bridge
Christiania Bridge (Jackson County, Minnesota)
Lost through truss bridge over West Fork Des Moines River on CSAH 30 south of Windom
August 6, 2019: Updated by Jason Smith: Added information on the history of the bridge
Goose River Bridge (Grand Forks County, North Dakota)
Pony truss bridge over Goose River on 3rd Avenue, 1 mi. west and 1 mi. south of Northwood in Northwood Township
July 22, 2019: Updated by Jason Smith: Lost- destroyed by a stupid truck driver who didn't read the signs properly.
Price-Legg Bridge (Lincoln County, Georgia)
Continuous Through truss bridge over Little River on GA 47
May 20, 2019: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge was replaced in 2016
Lundy Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Camelback through truss bridge over Middle River on a local road
March 13, 2019: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been replaced. Most likely 2016-17
Moniteau Creek Road Bridge (Cole County, Missouri)
Through truss bridge over Moniteau Creek on Moniteau Creek Road (Old MO 179)
February 27, 2019: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge is doomed. Scheduled to be removed by the end of the year.
Pennsylvania Avenue Overpass (Beaver County, Pennsylvania)
Through truss bridge on Pennsylvania Avenue in Monaca
November 10, 2018: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been replaced
Shaffer's Crossing Rail Yard Bridge (Roanoke, Virginia)
Pratt through truss bridge over NS RR on Pedestrian Path
October 24, 2018: Updated by Jason Smith: Still open but most likely provately owned.
Orleans Avenue Bridge (Minnehaha County, South Dakota)
Lost through truss bridge over Big Sioux River on Orleans Avenue in Dell Rapids
October 23, 2018: Updated by Jason Smith: Updated information per find in the archives: Bridge removed in January 1990 despite debate on whether to rehabilitate or remove it.
Beliot Bridge (Old) (Lyon County, Iowa)
Lost Pennsylvania through truss bridge over Big Sioux River on Apple Avenue/ 283rd Street
October 23, 2018: Added
RM2900-Llano River/Lake LBJ Bridge (Llano County, Texas)
Stringer bridge over Llano River/Lake Lbj on Rm 2900
October 17, 2018: Updated by Jason Smith: Destroyed by flooding on 16 October, 2018
Broadway Avenue Minnesota River Bridge (Le Sueur County, Minnesota)
Pennsylvania through truss bridge over Minnesota River on MN 99 in St. Peter
September 20, 2018: New photos
CSX - Bridgeport Bridge (Saginaw County, Michigan)
Warren through truss with all verticals bridge over Cass River on CSX RR
September 3, 2018: New photos
Zehnder's Covered Bridge 22-73-02 (Saginaw County, Michigan)
Town lattice truss bridge over Cass River on Covered Bridge Lane
August 15, 2018: New photos
Bridgeport Bridge (Saginaw County, Michigan)
Pratt through truss bridge over Cass River on State Street
August 15, 2018: New photos
Black Bridge (Saginaw County, Michigan)
Relocated Pratt through truss bridge over Dead Creek at Grandpa's Tiny Farm near Frankenmuth
August 15, 2018: New photos
Enloe Bridge (Wilkin County, Minnesota)
Pratt through truss bridge over Red River of The North on Csah 28
July 5, 2018: Updated by Jason Smith: Info updated per Google Map.
Van Demark Avenue Bridge (Minnehaha County, South Dakota)
Pony truss bridge over Skunk Creek on Van Demark Avenue, 8.7 mi. south and 0.5 mi. west of Colton in Hartford Township
July 5, 2018: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge is closed.
Silver Creek Bridge (Minnehaha County, South Dakota)
Steel stringer bridge over Silver Creek on 258th Street, 0.3 miles W of SD 115
July 5, 2018: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been replaced
84th Street Bridge (Minnehaha County, South Dakota)
Pony truss bridge over Creek on 84th Street, 1 mi. south of Renner in Mapleton Township
July 5, 2018: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been replaced
6th Street Bridge (Older) (Cottonwood County, Minnesota)
Lost Through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Sixth Street/ MN Hwy. 62
December 28, 2017: Updated by Jason Smith: Added information about the history of the bridge. Extant but as a concrete bridge and part of MN Hwy. 62
Red Bridge (Jackson County, Minnesota)
Lost pratt through truss bridge over Des Moines River on State aid road 8N (formerly) in Windom
December 28, 2017: Updated by Jason Smith: Readjusted the GPS coordinates to reflect on the bridge's location before it was removed.
Locust Street Bridge (1909) (Polk County, Iowa)
Arch bridge over Des Moines River on Locust Street in Des Moines
December 6, 2017: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge is so doomed, it makes President Trump gleam.
Lilleberg Bridge (Jackson County, Minnesota)
Stringer bridge over Des Moines River on Csah 16
March 8, 2017: Updated by Jason Smith: Added category "Central States Bridge Co."
Elk River Bridge (Clay County, West Virginia)
Through truss bridge over Elk River on CR 4/5
February 2, 2017: Updated by Jason Smith: To be replaced in 2017. Old bridge will remain in place as a pedestrian bridge
Dobbins Creek Crossing (Mower County, Minnesota)
Girder bridge over Dobbins Creek on Oakland Ave
January 29, 2017: Updated by Jason Smith: Currently being replaced. New bridge to open by May 2017
US 71 West Fork Des Moines River Bridge (Jackson County, Minnesota)
Steel stringer bridge over West Fork Des Moines River on US 71 in Jackson
January 3, 2017: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been replaced. New span now open.
Dodd Ford Bridge (Blue Earth County, Minnesota)
Through truss bridge over Blue Earth River on CR 147
November 9, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: Bridge has been rehabilitated and reopened to traffic since July 2016
Bonnie Doon Crossing (Lyon County, Iowa)
Abandoned pratt through truss bridge over Rock River on Grant Avenue
August 15, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: Updated the bridge's information
Bonnie Doon Crossing (Lyon County, Iowa)
Abandoned pratt through truss bridge over Rock River on Grant Avenue
August 15, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: Added categories "A-frame portal", "Riveted", "Wooden deck", "Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway", "Relocated"
Chambers Ford Bridge (Tama County, Iowa)
Pratt through truss bridge over Iowa River on 380th Street
August 8, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge is doomed. To be replaced by a new structure and removed once the new bridge opens
Wolf Creek Bridge (Woodbury County, Iowa)
Pony truss bridge over Wolf Creek on CR K67 (Hancock Avenue)
July 5, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: Replaced
Wolf Creek Bridge (Woodbury County, Iowa)
Through truss bridge over Wolf Creek on 290th Street
July 5, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: Replaced
Lincoln Highway/Jefferson Highway Colo Interchange (Story County, Iowa)
Steel stringer bridge over Over Us 65 on Co Rd E-41 (old Lincoln Highway)
June 22, 2016: New photos
IA5 South River Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Lost through truss bridge over South River on Elk Horn Street
June 3, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: Removed
235th Trail Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Pony truss bridge over Willow Creek on 235th Trail
May 21, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been replaced
235th Street Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Pony truss bridge over Allen Creek on 235th Street
May 21, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been replaced
180th Street Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Pony truss bridge over South Picayune Creek on 180th Street
May 21, 2016: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been replaced

Recent Comments 

James Baughn Interview
Posted December 3, 2020

After many months delay for the obvious reason, I finally finished an interview I did with fellow pontist James Baughn, who was last year's winner of the Bridgehunter Awards in the category Lifetime Achievement. He was responsible for establishing the largest online (historic) bridge database in the US and has many ambitions involving historic bridges in the future. Have a look at the interview unplugged. :-) https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/bri...

Posted November 29, 2020

Hi everyone!

In case you need some extra time to submit your entries to this year's Bridgehunter Awards, you got it. The deadline has been extended to December 5th to allow some extra time for those who have yet to submit your bridge candidates in the given categories. Information on the Awards are enclosed here: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/the-othmar-h-a...

The situation regarding the Corona Virus has played a key role in the delay, but there are a few smaller reasons for making this call. In either case, use this extra time to submit your entries by e-mail or personal messenger on facebook or Instagram.

Looking forward to the entries and stay healthy, stay safe. :-)

JS

Posted November 21, 2020

Don't forget! You have 10 days to submit your bridge entries to the 2020 Bridgehunter Awards presented by the Bridgehunter's Chronicles. If you have a bridge photo or bridge candidate or bridge preservationist for the categories of Best Bridge Photo, Best Kept Secret, Best Bridge Tour Guide, Mystery Bridge or Lifetime Achievement, please send me your entries by e-mail or Messenger before 11:59pm on 1 December 2020. Voting will commence afterwards and winners will be announced in January! Information here: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/the-othmar-h-a...

Posted November 14, 2020

We're still collecting entries for this year's Bridgehunter Awards. You still have 2 and a half weeks to submit your best bridge photo, best restored HB and other bridges or people that deserve international recognition. Use this link for more information and to submit your entries:

https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/the-othmar-h-a...

Deadline is December 1st. Voting will commence afterwards. Open to all entrants worldwide. Looking forward to your entries! :-)

JS

Posted November 7, 2020

On this day 80 years ago, Galloping Gertie, the nickname of the first Tacoma Narows crossing, came tumbling down due to a wind storm. A documentary about the event can be found here....... https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/11/07/tit...

Posted November 3, 2020

The yacht club approved funding to remove the bascule bridge on November 2nd, 2020. Demolition and removal now imminent: https://eu.thetimesherald.com/story/news/2020/11/02/port-hur...

The Legacy of the Bailey Truss Bridge
Posted October 16, 2020

Hi everyone,

I had a chance to do a write-up on the Bailey Truss and its inventor, Sir Donald Bailey in connection with the series Wartime Bridges in the Bridgehunter's Chronicles. It also marks the 35th anniversary of his passing. Have a look at the simple man, whose experiments with simple, light things led to victory in WWII and the extensive use of Bailey Trusses afterwards: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/10/16/war...

Bridgehunter Awards 2020/ BHC's 10th Anniversary
Posted October 10, 2020

The Bridgehunter's Chronicles is celebrating 10 years. Information on how the Chronicles is celebrating its milestone, plus information on the 2020 Bridgehunter Awards can be found here: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/upd... Reminder that entries for the 2020 Bridgehunter Awards is due December 1, 2020. Voting will follow.....

Koniska Bridge (Minnesota)
Posted October 3, 2020

I hope there is a way to save it. An article with contact details of the county engineer here: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/kon...

Posted October 1, 2020

Just posted an article on this bridge with some screen shots. I do believe this bridge is a rare gem that should be preserved and listed on the National Register. Link: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/10/01/mys... Any leads and information can be posted here. Good luck!

JS

Cobban Bridge (Wisconsin)
Posted September 13, 2020

Historic Cobban Bridge to be given away. Any takers? Details here: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/09/13/his... Offer good through October 9th.

Great Western Fires of 2020 and HBs
Posted September 12, 2020

Summary of the Great Western Fires of 2020 and the impact on historic bridges, including data and photos: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/09/12/gre...

If you know of other HBs affected by the fires, please let me know asap. Thanks! JS

Posted August 31, 2020

In case the Person is interested, I would like to nominate this pic for the Bridgehunter's Awards for 2020. :-) JS

Posted August 26, 2020
Kern Bridge (Minnesota)
Posted August 4, 2020

Summary of the bridge up for grabs. Currently two suitors but that may change in the coming weeks: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/08/04/ker...