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Friday, August 22, 2014, 8:44:45 AM CDT
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Chaska Bridge
MN-41 Minnesota River Crossing
Chaska, MN

MN-41 Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI: 10012.
• Location: River Mile 31.6.
• River Elevation: 695 Feet.
• Highway: MN-41.
• Daily Traffic Count: 15,800 (2004).
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder, Concrete Deck.
• Length: 508 Feet.
• Width: 60 Feet, 4 Lanes.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: 21 Feet (Estimated).
• Date Built: Open June 2006, Complete December 2007.
This is the new MN-41 Minnesota River Crossing in Chaska, Minnesota. The old MN-41 Minnesota River Bridge at Chaska was one of the most heavily used 2 lane bridges in the state. While the old bridge was structurally sound, it needed repairs and a new deck. At the same time, MN-DOT wanted to upgrade the river crossing to 4-lanes between US-169 and US-212. Rather than fixing the old bridge, it was decided to build a new 4 lane bridge.

To complicate the construction process, the river crossing had to remain open during the bridge replacement. To make this work, the bridge was built in two sections that were each two lanes. A 2 lane section was built east of the existing bridge. Traffic was moved to the new bridge, and then the old bridge was removed. That made room for the 2 lane span headed southbound to be built. Once the deck was compete, traffic was run down the middle two lanes to allow the railings to be completed. Final construction was completed in December, 2007.

The new bridge was built with a number of decorative items making the structure serve as a formal entry point into the city of Chaska. These items include the decorative lighting, pillars, stone work, and signs at the corners announcing that this is Chaska. The photo above is a view of the nearly completed bridge from the northwest looking south.


MN-41 Bridge
These two photos show a northbound crossing of the new MN-41 bridge at Chaska. The photo above is just entering the bridge, while the photo below shows the view from the crest of the bridge.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
The photo above shows a southbound crossing heading out of Chaska. The photo below is a view from the sidewalk looking south just prior to the bridge being completed.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
These two photos show views of the bridge under construction. The northbound lanes are complete and are carrying two-way traffic. The southbound lane construction is just getting underway with work focusing on the piers.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
The photo above is a view of the nearly completed bridge. The southbound span construction is complete, but the bridge has not been painted yet. The photo below is a view from very early in the construction project. The old bridge is still in operation, and the piers for the northbound lanes are just being competed. Work was slowed down a bit due to several periods of high water, as seen in both of these photos.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
These two photos, and the four that follow, are views from the spring flood of 2010. The photo above is looking north down the length of the MN-41 bridge deck towards the city of Chaska. Note that the far end of the bridge is blocked with concrete K-blocks. The photo below is looking north along the downriver east side of the river bridge.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
The photo above is looking west towards the downriver east side of the MN-41 bridge, while the photo below is looking south along the upriver west side of the structure. Note that the water at the level of the bottom of the concrete shoulders of the bridge piers. This bridge did not flood, but the highway south of the bridge was flooded and was closed for several weeks.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
The photo above is the monument located at the southwest corner of the bridge. The photo below is the plaza and monuments at the north end of the bridge. There is a park on the west side of the highway with the local trail systems running along the top of the levee.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
The photo above from October, 2010, shows that the north end of the Chaska Bridge was blocked off a second time in the same year, this time due to a an unusual autumn flood on the Minnesota River. The photo below is looking west towards the north bridge abutment, where we see the water right up to the bridge girders.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
These two photos are views of the upstream west face of the Chaska Bridge as seen from two different overlooks along the riverfront in Chaska on the north riverbank. The photo below is a closer view of the main channel span.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
The photo above is looking southeast towards the upstream west face of the Chaska Bridge. This was one of the highest recorded water levels in the area since the levees were built. Despite the high water, the crest was well below the top of the levee here at Chaska. The photo below is the south bridge abutment. The vehicle parked in the roadway is a MN-DOT truck. Crews from MN-DOT monitored both ends of the causeway around the clock during the flood event. Despite the bridge remaining above water, the causeway flooded and suffered significant damage.

MN-41 Bridge
MN-41 Bridge
These two photos are views of the downstream east face of the Chaska Bridge during the autumn flood of 2010. Both MN-DOT and the Carver County Sheriff Department was very accommodating to spectators and kept the bridge open to foot traffic. Scott County, however, set up police lines on the south end of the river crossing that were a half mile from the river preventing the public from getting a view of the flooded roadway.

MN-41 Bridge

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