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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Nymore Bridge
Mississippi River Highway Crossing
Bemidji, MN

Nymore Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 2366
• Location: River Mile 1284.3
• River Elevation: 1,339 Feet
• County: Beltrami
• Highway: Old Midway Drive
• Daily Traffic Count: 4900 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Concrete Arch
• Bridge Length: 168 Feet, 65 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 31 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Height Above Water: 15 Feet
• Date Built: 1916
 
• The Nymore Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The Nymore Bridge was built as the first highway bridge across the thin isthmus of land between Lake Irving and Lake Bemidji, the two lakes that form the boundaries of the City of Bemidji. The area to the south east of the isthmus was once known as Nymore. Nymore became part of Bemidji in 1917 just as the bridge was being competed. The bridge was planned to be completed and opened on January 1, 1917. Bad weather and a strike delayed the work, so it did not open until the fall of 1917.

This bridge was the main highway river crossing at Bemidji at the time it was built. It is a very graceful triple arch. The decorative lamp posts and gas lights have long since been removed, and several utility pipes including a large water main spoil the looks of this elegant structure.

This old bridge lost its mainline status when the new Highway 197 bridge was built just a hundred feet down stream in 1934. The Highway 197 bridge was rebuilt in 1969, then totally replaced with new bridges in 2002. All that time, the Nymore Bridge remained more or less unchanged. When the new 2002 bridges opened on Highway 197, the Nymore bridge was blocked on one end, and now only serves traffic to a city streets maintenance yard. There was talk of converting this bridge into a public trail, but the trail was eventually built over the former Soo Line rail bridge just up stream.

The Nymore bridge is a very interesting looking bridge. It has a lot of detail work in the concrete. It also sits in a very interesting location. The 800 foot wide isthmus between the lakes has supported as many as 7 different bridges, 4 rail bridges (two now removed), the two spans of the highway 197 bridge, and the historic Nymore bridge.

The photo above is a view of the up river side of the bridge as seen from the nearby Soo Line Railroad Bridge. The photo below is a view of the eastern approach looking northwest towards downtown Bemidji.


Nymore Bridge
Nymore Bridge
The photo above is a view from the southeast corner of the bridge. The large pipe hung off the side of the bridge is a water main. The local water treatment plant is located on the southeast side of the bridge, and the main carries that water across the Mississippi River to the core of the city of Bemidji. The photo below is a view looking southeast across the deck of the bridge towards the former city of Nymore, now a part of Bemidji.

Nymore Bridge

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