3 votes

MN&S - Wolf Creek Arch Bridge


Abandoned Concrete Arch

In the background

Photo taken by John Marvig in January 2012


BH Photo #240984


Closed-spandrel arch over Wolf Creek on Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern Railway
Rice County, Minnesota
Built 1912 for a planned line to Faribault, Minnesota; Never used
- Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern Railway (MNS)
Closed-spandrel arch
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.41414, -93.22675   (decimal degrees)
44°24'51" N, 93°13'36" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/481947/4917897 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 111 N., R. 20 W., Sec. 16
Inventory number
BH 53756 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 26, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added railroad info per research done by Clark
  • October 4, 2012: New photo from John Marvig
  • October 3, 2012: Added by Luke Harden



MILW - Wolf Creek Arch Bridge
Posted October 28, 2015, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Seeing the long view in the photo it looks as if the RoW curves a bit at the creek as if it is bypassing the bridge on the NW. I'm not sure what the exact timeline is for this location but I feel fairly comfortable saying this is a railroad bridge. Too far for me to run up to look but there might be some insight to be gained from looking closely at the two structures to get an idea of the relative ages. I doubt either is the original bridge from the 1870s.

MILW - Wolf Creek Arch Bridge
Posted October 27, 2015, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)


The Milwaukee Road line was built in 1865 by a predecessor, while the Rock Island line was built in 1901 by the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern. What I recall from my visit (nearly 4 years ago) was the ROW was utterly erased to the north from whatever the concrete structure carried.

However, this being said; a look at a 1951 aerial shows a clear railroad right of way on both sides of this bridges. Given the right of way, I am not certain this is Milwaukee Road. The stone arch appears to predate the BCR&N by a bit.

The other possibility would be that the bridge was part of the graded, but never built Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern expansion to Faribault, built and abandoned in 1921. Following the ROW, it appears to head north into Northfield and meet up with the MN&S line.

See the historic aerial below. Would be interested in further comment.


MILW - Wolf Creek Arch Bridge
Posted October 27, 2015, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

An 1874 map shows one RR through Dundas: Minnesota & St. Paul RR

Maybe a site visit will tell more about an old RoW.

MILW - Wolf Creek Arch Bridge
Posted October 27, 2015, by John Marvig

As far as I know, the Milwaukre Road and BCR&N (later RI) used the same track. However, I will take a look at this and maybe take a little trip down there. It would make sense, however the only issue is the difference in elevation between the two embankments. It's entirely possible and maybe likely that this is an old railroad bridge though.

Wolf Creek Arch Bridge
Posted October 26, 2015, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

I can't find any maps showing a road here. The 1960 quads show two tracks converging just south of present day 140th street. The 1960 Little Chicago quad shows parallel tracks; Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific on the west, and Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific on the east. I think it's likely this bridge was built for a railroad.

Wolf Creek Arch Bridge
Posted October 24, 2015, by John Marvig

Yeah, I'm almost certain it would be old US-65 (the predecessor to MN-3). I will have to take a look on old maps to confirm for sure.

Wolf Creek Arch Bridge
Posted October 23, 2015, by Andrew (Dmepower [at] hotmail [dot] com )

Was that an original hwy bridge into town? I've always been curious.