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Kern Bridge

Yaeger Bridge

Kern Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 2, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
195th Lane (TR-190, Ivywood Lane) Over LeSeuer River
Rural (Near Mankato): Blue Earth County, Minnesota: United States
Structure Type
Metal Bowstring Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1873 By Builder/Contractor: Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
190 Feet (57.9 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
17 Feet (5.18 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This bridge is in storage!

Bridge Status: Picked from river to be dismantled and placed in storage February 6, 2020.

July 15, 2020: Notice of Bridge Availability For Reuse

Key facts
• Listed on National Register of Historic Places
• Initial Crossing – Mankato/South Bend Ivywood Lane (Township Road 190) over Le Sueur River
• Type – only bowstring arch in Minnesota; made of wrought iron
• Year built - 1873 (one of Minnesota’s oldest bridges) for a cost of $8,652
• Length - 189 ft.; extant longest bowstring span in the United States
• Use – initially used for horse and buggy traffic; closed to pedestrians and vehicles early 1990s
• Removed the bridge from the failed limestone block abutments, carefully disassembled, catalogued, hauled and placed bridge components in storage containers.
• After removal the structure was carefully marked and disassembled into large pieces for future refurbishing and re-assembly

The bridge has been removed, carefully dismantled, loaded into sealed containers. New owners will be required to provide a 20-percent match toward the rehabilitation and relist the Kern Bridge on the National Register of Historic places following completion of the rehabilitation effort. Federal funds are available to cover 80 percent with a 20 percent state or local match. Preliminary estimates of the total cost are around $1.5 million. All FHWA/MnDOT rules and requirements must be followed.

Requirements: Must rehabilitate to historic standards (Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Projects). All FHWA/MnDOT rules and requirements must be followed.

Qualifications: Cities, counties and state agencies. Cities of less than 5,000 population must have county sponsor. Similar to ATP Transportation Alternatives, letter of intent followed by a formal application needed.

Letters of interest due by August 31, 2020.

For more information:
Download News Release and Information Packet
Visit Official Listing Webpage

Bridge Narrative

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Drawings, PDF - HAER Data Pages, PDF

View the National Register of Historic Places Nomination For This Bridge

This bridge is the longest known surviving cast and wrought iron bowstring truss span in the United States and is the second longest in North America, with only the Blackfriars Street Bridge in Ontario being longer. Unlike the Blackfriars Street Bridge however, this bridge enjoys a nearly complete lack of alteration, which is a remarkable achievement for a bridge from the 1870s. Its age, design, lack of alteration, and span length all combine to make this one of the most important historic bridges in the United States. The bridge is currently abandoned and its future is uncertain. It is paramount that this bridge be given the absolute highest preservation priority. The bridge could, if desired, be relocated and reused at a new location. Although maintaining a bridge in its original location is desirable, this bridge's technological significance would not be diminished in a new location. To maintain the bridge's excellent historic integrity, it is important that any preservation work done on the bridge follow the latest techniques of restoration, focused on maintaining original bridge material, employing historical construction methods like riveting, and replicating exactly any parts that must be replaced.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Kern Bridge

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