The MN-40 highway bridge at Milan is one of the few remaining through
truss bridges left in the state of Minnesota on a state or federal highway.
A through truss is the style where the highway runs through the truss
structure, and not above or below the truss. This bridge was built in
1938, replacing an earlier bridge that would be flooded out due to the
completion of the Lac Qui Parle Dam some 7 miles downstream.
The bridge sits near the northeast end of a causeway. There is about 200
feet of causeway northeast of the bridge, and about 1400 feet of causeway
southwest of the structure. The metal bridge structure is 162 feet long,
but the overall bridge is 220 feet long when you include the concrete
abutments. The bridge can accommodate loads as tall as 16 feet, and
during periods of normal water levels, the deck sits 17 feet above
the water level on the tall end of the structure. The concrete pillars
have some interesting Art Deco era details, while the bridge railings
have a classical wrought iron look.
The Milan Bridge is a popular fishing location. There is a day use area on
the downstream side of the bridge complete with a fishing pier. One may also
fish from the bridge sidewalk or from the causeway.
The photo above is a view looking west towards the bridge truss span as seen
from the day use area on the downstream side of the causeway. The photo below
is looking southwest down the length of the bridge deck from the center of
The photo above is looking towards the northeast bridge portal from the
downstream side of the river crossing. The photo below is a view looking
down the length of the causeway beyond the southwest end of the bridge.
These two photos are looking to the southwest from inside the truss structure.
The photo above is looking towards the portal on the far end of the bridge,
while the photo below is looking across the bridge deck towards the upstream
side of the river crossing.
The photo above is looking northeast towards the southwest bridge portal
as seen from the northbound traffic lane. The photo below is the bridge
plate, which is partially hidden by a metal guardrail.