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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
US-59 / US-212 Bridge
US-59 / US-212 Minnesota River Highway Crossing
Montevideo, MN

US-59 / US-212 Bridge (Montevideo)

• Structure ID: NBI: 87021.
• Location: River Mile 271.1.
• River Elevation: 917 Feet.
• Highway: US-59, US-212.
• Daily Traffic Count: 6,400 (2004).
• Bridge Type: Prestressed Concrete Girder, Concrete Deck.
• Length: 319 Feet.
• Width: 57 Feet, 2 Lanes.
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: 14 Feet.
• Date Built: 1983.
This is the westernmost of 3 places where US-212 crosses the Minnesota River. In this crossing, just south of the city of Montevideo, the highway is multiplexed with US-59. This is one of the most heavily used bridges on the upper Minnesota River, with the US-212 bridge in Granite Falls seeing about the same average number of vehicles per day. Oddly, the rural US-212 bridge located between these two heavily used bridges sees only about 40% of the traffic levels that the two city bridges support. This suggests that over half of the traffic on these bridges is local, and only about 1/3 is long haul traffic.

This bridge is a modern prestressed concrete girder bridge. It has 2 large piers resulting in 3 spans of about 100 feet each. These are typical span lengths for a concrete girder. The deck is very wide for bridges in this area. The reason is that the highway is changing from 4-lanes just north of this bridge to being a 2 lane highway heading west. The bridge was built to support 4 lanes. It also has the modern slanted guardrails, and a sidewalk that is protected from the traffic lanes. While this bridge supports no decorative elements, the sweeping curve makes it a bridge to remember.

Montevideo is the location of a gravity hill. On the ramp from 1st Street to highway MN-7, an unknown force causes cars to roll uphill. As it turns out, the unknown force is actually an optical illusion caused by an odd or unusual orientation of the land that makes what is actually a slight downhill appear to be an uphill. The cars appear to roll uphill, but in reality, they are rolling slightly downhill.

The photo above is an overview of the bridge site looking west from the sidewalk on the south side of highway US-59 and US-212.


US-59 / US-212 Bridge (Montevideo)
These two photos are views of the downriver south face of the US-59 and US-212 bridge. The photo above is a view from near the water level, while the photo below is a view from the bridge deck level. These views show that the bridge deck is curved, but the structure is supported by a series of straight concrete girders.

US-59 / US-212 Bridge (Montevideo)
US-59 / US-212 Bridge (Montevideo)
These two photos are looking west down the length of the bridge deck from the east river bank. The photo above is a view from the sidewalk, while the photo below is a view from the center of highway US-59 and US-212.

US-59 / US-212 Bridge (Montevideo)
US-59 / US-212 Bridge (Montevideo)
The photo above is a view of the upriver face of the highway US-59 and US-212 bridge. This photo was taken during the flood of 2010. While this was reported to be the biggest flood of the past decade, and workers were scrambling to build temporary dikes, the water level doesn't look any higher than in the 2008 photos above. The photo below is the bridge plate.

US-59 / US-212 Bridge (Montevideo)

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