Two identical bridges carry US-2 and US-71 across the Mississippi River
on a divided highway built in 1979 that bypasses the city of Bemidji.
In this area, the Mississippi River flows from lake to lake. In this
case, Carr Lake is just up river, and Lake Irving is just down river.
Those directions are a bit deceptive since the river is actually flowing
north, so down river is to the north of this location.
The river elevation is 1,339 feet at this locations. It will stay at this
elevation through three lakes and under several bridges in the Bemidji
area. The river has already fallen 136 feet from Lake Itasca. That drop has
occurred in 61 river miles, a rate of just over 2 feet per river mile.
Amazingly, this 61 river miles covers only 21 air miles, which means that
the river drops about 6 feet per air mile, and the river path takes about
3 river miles for each linear mile of distance.
These two photos are views of the US-2 and US-71 river crossing as seen
from Yellowhead Road, the frontage road that runs along the north side
of the highway. The photo above is a view from west of the northbound
bridge. The photo below is a side view of the northbound bridge, with
the southbound span behind the front bridge. The photo at the top
of the page is another view of the side of the northbound bridge.
These two photos are views of the US-2 and US-71 Mississippi River
crossing as seen from the frontage road on the south side of the highway.
The photo above is a wide shot of the bridges, while the photo below
is a closer view of the river crossing.
The two photos show a typical river crossing from an automobile point of
view. The photo above is a northbound crossing (west on US-2), while the
slightly blurry photo below is crossing southbound (east on US-2).