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.
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
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.
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.