This bridge is located on a short stretch of MN-100 where three historic overpass bridges of the same vintage can be found. Each bridge was designed with considerable attention given to the aesthetics of the bridge, and each bridge was also designed to be visually unique. This concept of not only making freeway overpasses look attractive, but varying them visually from bridge to bridge was something found in only the oldest limited access highways in the country, usually built before 1950. After 1950, and especially after the Interstate Highway System was created, limited access highway bridges either lacked aesthetics of any kind, or employed limited aesthetics in the same form on all bridges.
This bridge and the other two nearby historic overpass bridges are among the last remaining early expressway overpass bridges in Minnesota. Despite this fact, all three are slated for demolition and replacement. Because so few early overpass bridges remain, this will be a significant loss of Minnesota's transportation heritage.
This is actually a pair of parallel bridges sharing a common abutment. The northern bridge was originally built for the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad, but is today converted to a Cedar Lake rail-trail. The southern bridge was originally built for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road). The northern bridge provides a 66.5 foot roadway, while the southern bridge provides a 47.2 foot roadway and today carries a Union Pacific line. The design of the bridges is somewhat unusual. The outermost fascia girders are like through plate girders and they have an attractive haunched bottom chord giving the bridge its distinctive appearance. Looking under the bridge however, there are longitudinal stringers suggesting that most of the load on the bridge is carried like a steel stringer bridge. However, the massive nature of the fascia girders suggest that they might possibility contribute some load-bearing capacity as well.
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