This bridge was still serviceable, but it needed some serious maintenance attention. In addition, highway traffic has grown beyond what this bridge could handle. MN-DOT very much wanted a four lane bridge at this location. When the cost of repairs of the bridge was considered, and options for adding lanes were compared, it became clear that it would cost less in the long run to simply replace this bridge with a modern four lane bridge.
Construction of the replacement bridge started by building a new two lane span for northbound traffic just downriver from this bridge. Once traffic was moved to the new bridge, this old bridge was removed. The space vacated by this bridge was used to build the southbound lanes of the new bridge. This complex sequence of events allowed two lanes of traffic to be open during the entire bridge replacement project.
The photo above is the upstream face of the bridge as seen from the overlook at the northwest corner of the structure.