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John A. Latsch Bridge

Old Duke Road Bridge

   


John A. Latsch Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 9, 2013
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Old Duke Road Over North Channel Mississippi River
Location
Rural: Winona County, Minnesota, and Buffalo County, Wisconsin
Structure Type
Concrete Open Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Cantilever Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1916 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
2004
Main Span Length
72 Feet (21.9 Meters)
Structure Length
1220 Feet (371.9 Meters)
Roadway Width
17.4 Feet (5.3 Meters)
Spans
13 Main Span(s) and 11 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
4260

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This long bridge is a beautiful structure with an interesting history. It has two components, each historically significant. The main spans are a series of open spandrel deck arch spans and date to 1916. These spans replaced a wooden trestle structure that provided an approach to the former crossing of the Main (South) Channel of the Mississippi River. A photo of the former south channel bridge called the High Bridge (and built in 1892) is shown to the right. In 1947, with the south channel bridge having been replaced, the north channel arch bridge was converted into a bridge that just led to the island. To do this, the southwestern end of the arch spans (which was elevated to meet the approach for the former main channel bridge) had a series of approach spans added to provide a ramp down to the island surface. These approach spans utilize a highly unusual design of cantilevered concrete girder spans. The spans are configured alternately. One span will have two arched girders that cantilever out from the piers and meet in the middle. A small gap in the middle of these spans is present indicating the cantilever function. In between these arched cantilever spans are anchor spans that are not cantilevered and instead serve to anchor and balance out the cantilever spans. These anchor spans are not arched and have straight girders. The overall bridge has the same railing design suggesting that the railings on the entire bridge date to 1947, not 1916. More recently, in 2004, this bridge was rehabilitated in part by private donations from a variety of individuals, to both preserve the bridge and provide access to a park.

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