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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Nicollet Co 37 Bridge
Minnesota River Highway Crossing
New Ulm, MN

Nicollet Co 37 Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI: 08520.
• Location: River Mile 149.3.
• River Elevation: 782 Feet.
• Highway: Nicollet Co 37, 20th Street.
• Daily Traffic Count: 4,750 (2001).
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder, Concrete Deck.
• Length: 574 Feet.
• Width: 54 Feet, 4 Lanes.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: ???.
• Date Built: 1978.
Nicollet County highway 37 crosses the Minnesota River at the south end of New Ulm. This steel girder bridge has a very graceful hump shape. It was built that way because the land is relatively flat in the river bottom area, but engineers wanted to keep the bridge from being flooded out during all but the highest floods. At the same time, the roads on either side of the structure were not raised as high to prevent the highway from acting like a large earthen dam during periods of high water. The net result is a bridge that stays high and dry, but the approach roads frequently flood. The Nicollet County Board of Supervisors is looking at options for raising the approach roads on either side of the bridge, but a formal project has not been funded.

This 1978 bridge appears to have replaced an older bridge that was located up stream about one-half mile. That bridge would have landed near 12th Street. The approach road on the north side of the river appears to still exist, while roadway on the south side of the river is in an area that has been redeveloped with new housing.

The two photos above and below are views from the southeast corner of the structure looking north across the Minnesota River along the downriver east face of the bridge. The photo above is a view from the river flats, while the photo below is a view from just below the bridge deck.

Nicollet Co 37 Bridge
Nicollet Co 37 Bridge
These two photos show a typical crossing of the highway 37 bridge in New Ulm heading northbound towards highway US-14. The photo above is approaching the south end of the bridge. The photo above is a view from mid-span at the top of the hump in the bridge deck. Highway US-14 is at the T-intersection visible in the distance.

Nicollet Co 37 Bridge

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