This bridge is located on the former Northern Pacific Railway mainline that
spanned the state of Minnesota running from Fargo to Duluth. The first bridge
at this site was built in 1871. That bridge failed in 1875 and had to be
rebuilt. The bridge was rebuilt a third time in 1909 as a three span truss.
The NP merged with several other railroads in 1970 and became part of the
Burlington Northern Railroad. The BN did a ground up rebuild of this bridge
in 1984. Since that time, the BN merged with the Santa Fe to become the
The Brainerd Daily Dispatch reports that the July 27, 1875 train wreck was
caused when the bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed under the weight
of the train, which was 12 cars of steel rail and 10 cars of general
merchandise. Locals report that a local band of Native Americans salvaged
much of the merchandise that floated downriver after the accident.
The photo above is a view looking northwest from the east river bank from
a vantage point located about a block south of the railroad tracks. The
photo below is a view of the BNSF Bridge looking south from the MN-210
highway bridge located just upstream.
The photo above is a view looking east across the river crossing. The photo
below is a view of the structure from near the southeast corner of the
The photo above is looking west down the length of the bridge deck. The
photo below is the railroad signal control box located at the east end of
the river crossing.