The Itasca County Highway 62 bridge is another prestressed concrete
girder bridge, common in these parts. This one features tubular steel
pilings to form bridge piers. These pilings are driven into the riverbed,
then they are cut off with their tops being level. A concrete cap is then
placed on top of the pilings. This provides a base to support the girders.
The advantage is far less disruption to the river. This type of pier is
most often used when bedrock is too deep to use as a base for footings.
The end piers have two piles driven in at an angle to provide side to side
stability, while the center pier has two sets of piles driven in at an
angle to provide stability down the long axis of the bridge.
Prior to this modern bridge being built, the river crossing was served
by a lift bridge. A steamship once traveled this section of the river,
requiring bridges to either move out of the way or be high enough
for the steamer to pass under the main channel span. The lift bridge was
built in 1904, and rebuilt in 1923.
The photo above is a view looking north down the length of the bridge
deck. The photo below is a profile view from a nearby boat landing
located to the west of the structure. The photo above is a view from
an observation deck located near the northwest corner of the structure.
The photo above is a highway sign announcing the bridge name. The photo below
is a view looking south down the length of the bridge deck.