At that time, a new bridge had just been built over the Minnesota River in Granite Falls in 1931 as bridge #5045. The new US-212 routing used this new bridge. Aerial photos at the Minnesota State Historical Society dated from 1960 show a three span truss bridge at this location. The bridge was modified in 1964 to allow trucks to have more clearance when traveling through the truss sections. By the mid-1980s, this bridge was obsolete for US highway traffic.
The new 1986 bridge is a steel girder bridge with a concrete deck. It is a very routine bridge with no decorative features. But since it is located in such a scenic spot on the river, the bridge really stands out as a nice looking structure. A park was built on the west end of the span, and a sidewalk allows one to walk under the bridge. From the underside, the bridge looks like it is showroom fresh. Apparently someone is maintaining this bridge very well.
One interesting feature of the bridge is the pedestrian sidewalk. Having a sidewalk is a critical safety feature, especially for people on bicycles. The modern thought is that there should be a solid guardrail between the traffic lanes and the sidewalk. This bridge was, however, built in the period of time after it was known that a bridge should have a walkway, but before it was realized that the walkway needs to be protected. As a result, the sidewalk is open to the traffic lanes on this bridge.
The photo above is looking northeast towards the south face of the US-212 bridge. The vantage point is a park located on the west riverbank.