The Broadway Bridge carries MN-99 across the Minnesota River heading
east out of the small town of Saint Peter, Minnesota. This 1931 era
steel truss bridge is one of the few remaining truss bridges from
that era left in the state that are still carrying a major load in the
form of a state highway. This bridge replaced a swing span bridge
that was open to traffic from 1887 to 1929.
This bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 5,
1999. The registry recognizes the bridge as being historically significant
and being worthy of saving. Specifically, the structure is recognized as
being significant for its engineering compared to other structures from the
years 1925 to 1949.
The bridge itself is very unusual. A crossing such as this would normally
be built with two independent truss spans set end to end. But in this
case, this is essentially one long continuous truss. In addition, the
two humps in the truss are at different heights, and two humps do not
join where the pier is located. The two sections of the truss do share
the same design, with the same number of structural elements, but the
longer truss section has the structural members placed farther apart.
The two color silver and black paint scheme serves to add to the somewhat
odd appearance of the Broadway Bridge.
Saint Peter has produced a large number of notable
people including five former governors. Ann Denver, widow of singing star
John Denver, is from the city. The Denvers were married in Saint Peter. The
vocal group Peter, Paul, and Mary sang at the wedding.
The photo above is a profile view of the bridge from a vantage point located
just upriver of the structure. The photo below is the first of a three photo
series showing a typical river crossing heading westbound towards the city of
Saint Peter. In this photo, we are approaching the bridge while traveling
on a causeway built across the river flats area.
These two photos are the final two photos of a three photo series showing
a typical river crossing heading westbound towards the city of Saint Peter.
In the photo above, we are approaching the east bridge portal. We are inside
the bridge truss about half way across the river channel in the photo below.
These two photos are views from Riverside Park located just south of the
Broadway Bridge. The river makes a sharp turn to the right, allowing for a
vantage point that appears like it is in the middle of the river channel.
The photo above is the eastern bridge span on the Le Sueur County side of
the river, while the photo below is the western bridge span on the Nicollet
County side of the river.
These two photos are the first of six photos from the spring flood of 2010.
These two photos are the west portal of the Broadway Bridge. The photo above
shows the barricades closing the bridge to both vehicle and pedestrian
traffic. The photo below is a closer view without the barricades in the
The photo above is looking east through the bridge truss down the center of
the traffic deck. Note the barricades visible on the far end of the bridge.
The photo below is looking down the upriver south face of the Broadway
Bridge. Interestingly, the bridge railing, the attachment of the bridge
railing, and the details of the truss work is very similar to that of the
Stillwater Lift Bridge over the Saint Croix River. Both bridges were built
and opened in 1931.
The photo above is a view through the trees from the west riverbank on the
Saint Peter side of the Minnesota River. The photo below is a view from
Riverside Park. The boat landing at the park is located near the light post
on the right side of the photo. Compare the water levels in these two photos
with the side views above. The water had been flowing over the bridge deck
during the crest of the flood a few days before these photos were taken.