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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Oak Street Bridge
Minnesota River Highway Crossing
Granite Falls, MN

Oak Street Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI: 87513.
• Location: River Mile 252.9.
• River Elevation: 909 Feet.
• Highway: Oak Street, Yellow Medicine Co 22, Chippewa Co 38.
• Daily Traffic Count: 3,450 (2001).
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder, Concrete Deck.
• Length: 292 Feet.
• Width: 44 Feet, 2 Lanes.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet.
• Date Built: 1974.
The first bridge at this location was reported to have been built in 1876. It featured a single large truss section. When built, the truss was reinforced with both cables and braces. At some point in its life, the bridge was reinforced by removing the cables and installing steel braces in their place. The bridge had a small A-frame truss on the east end of the main span, and a short truss made out of two A-frames on the west end. The west end also had a wooden trestle leading to the bridge. This bridge served well for wagon and early automobile traffic, but it was far too light for highway use.

Documents from the WPA (Works Progress Administration) suggest that the second bridge was built in 1910, however, photos at the Minnesota State Historical Society suggest that the old bridge was still in place as of 1915. The next newer photos in the collection from 1925 show the new bridge. It was a single steel truss about the same size as the 1876 bridge main truss. Whereas the 1876 truss was flat on top much like a Pratt Truss, the second bridge was hump-back much like a Parker or Pennsylvania arch. Rather than having smaller approach spans, the second bridge had short causeways leading to the bridge on each end.

The NBI (National Bridge Inventory) lists the third bridge at this location as being built in 1974. Again, photos from the Historical Society suggest that the second bridge was still in place in 1975, and the third bridge does not show up in aerial photos until 1976. At that time, the second bridge was removed, and a three span steel girder bridge was installed. That is the modern looking bridge that we see today. This very run of the mill looking bridge has no decorative features. The key interesting feature of the bridge is how low it sits in the water.

The photo above is looking northeast towards the downstream south face of the Oak Street Bridge. The Granite Falls Dam is in the foreground.


Oak Street Bridge
These two photos show a typical crossing of the Oak Street Bridge heading eastbound across the Minnesota River. The photo above is approaching the west end of the structure, while the photo below is a view from mid-span.

Oak Street Bridge

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