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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
MN-41 Backchannel Bridge
MN-41 Minnesota River Crossing
Chaska, MN

MN-41 Backchannel Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI: 70041.
• Location: River Mile 32.1.
• River Elevation: 695 Feet.
• Highway: MN-41.
• Daily Traffic Count: 18,500 (2002).
• Bridge Type: Concrete Girder.
• Length: 250 Feet.
• Width: 70 Feet, 4 Lanes.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: 19 Feet.
• Date Built: Opened 1998.
The Minnesota River crossing at Chaska consists of a mile long highway causeway, a 500 foot long bridge on the north end, and this smaller 250 foot long bridge on the south end. For much of the length of the causeway, the main river channel flows along the west side of the roadway, which would be the left in the photo above.

These photos show the smaller backchannel river crossing. This was once a narrow 2 lane bridge. Since MN-DOT has plans to make this river crossing into a 4 lane roadway, the new 1998 bridge was built as a 4 lane bridge. The main channel bridge has also been replaced and built as a 4 lane bridge, so it is expected that MN-DOT will complete the 4 lane project soon (perhaps by 2010).

The photos above and below show a typical river crossing headed northbound. The photo above is approaching the backchannel bridge as we descend into the river valley. The photo below shows the bridge just as we are approaching the south end of the structure. Note that half of the bridge deck remains unused.

MN-41 Backchannel Bridge
MN-41 Backchannel Bridge
The photo above is a view of the west face of the backchannel bridge as seen from a wildlife refuge parking located at an older bridge site along an abandoned highway alignment. The bridge looks surprisingly long when viewed from the side as compared to how short it looks when crossing the structure at highway speeds. The photo below is a view looking to the north across the deck of the backchannel bridge. The lack of cars on the bridge is due to the road being closed for a rare autumn flood on the Minnesota River in October, 2010.

MN-41 Backchannel Bridge
MN-41 Backchannel Bridge
The photo above is looking northbound along highway MN-41 from the southwest corner of the bridge, while the photo below is looking northbound down the center of the highway. Note that the highway is flooded just beyond the north end of the bridge.

MN-41 Backchannel Bridge
MN-41 Backchannel Bridge
The photo above is looking northbound along highway MN-41 from the east side of the highway. The bridge is built for a future expansion to four lanes, but so far, the causeway has not been similarly widened to support additional lanes. The photo below is looking west across the bridge deck from the southeast corner of the structure.

MN-41 Backchannel Bridge

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