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

Beussmann Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI: 08527.
• Location: River Mile 155.5.
• River Elevation: 783 Feet.
• Highway: Nicollet Co 35, Brown Co 13.
• Daily Traffic Count: 1,900 (2001).
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder, Concrete Deck.
• Length: 599 Feet.
• Width: 40 Feet, 2 Lanes.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: ???.
• Date Built: 1987.
The Beussmann Bridge crosses the Minnesota River connecting Brown and Nicollet counties just north of New Ulm. As of 2008, this steel girder bridge is 20 years old. It still looks almost new despite surviving several large floods and the harsh Minnesota winters.

Bridges of this length are generally built using prestressed concrete beams rather than steel. The two inner spans have a much larger steel girder than the outer spans. This results in very hefty piers in the middle, and lighter piers towards the end of the bridge. The result is four different styles of piers. The center pier has four concrete columns connected by a concrete web. The piers at either end of the main steel span have two columns joined by a web, but also feature a large cap on top of the pier. The next set of piers moving outward are a set of steel posts connected by a web of concrete. The final set of piers moving outward are little more than thin concrete walls. Each pier by itself would be unusual, but to have all these different pier styles on one bridge is very unique.

The previous bridge at this location was built in 1891. It was a single lane truss bridge located about 100 feet downstream of the current bridge.

The photo above is a view looking north across the Minnesota River along the west face of the bridge. This view shows the two sizes of bridge beams and the different pier styles.


Beussmann Bridge
The photo above is looking southwest towards the downriver east face of the Beussmann Bridge from the public water access park located on the north riverbank. The photo below is a view crossing the bridge traveling northbound.

Beussmann Bridge
Beussmann Bridge
The photo above is the bridge plate for the new bridge. The photo below is a monument that includes the bridge plate from the old bridge along with a dedication plaque for the new structure. Unfortunately, this monument has been vandalized with spray paint and plastic body putty.

Beussmann Bridge
Beussmann Bridge
These two photos are looking southeast towards the city of New Ulm during the flood of 2010. The photo above is looking down the length of the bridge deck, which has been closed to traffic. The photo below is the causeway running across the river flats. It is flooded just beyond the curve.

Beussmann Bridge
Beussmann Bridge
These are two additional photos from the flood of 2010. The photo above is the upriver side of the bridge looking to the northwest. Compare the water levels in this photo to the similar photo above. The photo below is looking westbound down the length of the bridge deck. Note the barricades blocking the bridge at the far end of the structure.

Beussmann Bridge
Beussmann Bridge
The photo above is the monument at the east end of the bridge. The bridge plates have been restored since my previous visit in 2008. The photo below is looking north across the Minnesota River from the middle of the bridge.

Beussmann Bridge

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