Blakeley, MN, is a tiny village on the east bank of the Minnesota River
between Belle Plaine and Henderson. The town appears to be left over
from the days when trains were forced to stop to take on water. Blakeley
was the site of a river ferry, which closed when a steel truss bridge
was built over the Minnesota River in 1925. That truss bridge survived
for 80 years. The major issue is that the river would flood every three
years on average, leaving the river crossing closed for months at a time.
The new bridge is built higher, but the long approach road to the north
still looks like it would be prone to flooding.
The new bridge at Blakeley is a typical modern MN-DOT style prestressed
concrete girder bridge, like so many of the new bridges that are being
built in the 1990s and 2000s. This one has no special features to
dress it up. The bridge does have a sidewalk that is protected with a
concrete barrier, which is a nice feature for pedestrians and those
The photo above is a view looking down the upriver south face of the Blakeley
Bridge from the east side of the Minnesota River.
These two photos show a typical bridge crossing when traveling westbound
across the Minnesota River at Blakeley. The photo above is approaching the
east end of the bridge, while the photo below is a view from mid-channel.
The photo above is another view of the bridge deck looking west across the
Minnesota River. In this view, the bridge is closed for the flood of 2010.
The photo below is a view looking down the downstream north face of the
bridge. Note that the water is closed to the top of the bridge piers, and
that the highway on the west end of the bridge is under water.