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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Bridge Of Hope
Mississippi River Highway Crossing
Sauk Rapids, MN

Bridge Of Hope

• Structure ID: NBI 05011
• Location: River Mile 930.5
• River Elevation: 990 Feet
• Counties: Benton, Stearns
• Highways: MN Highway 15
• Daily Traffic Count: 21,100 (2004)
• Bridge Type: Concrete Girder
• Bridge Length: 1,711 Feet, 140 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 80 Feet, 4 Lanes
• Height Above Water: 18 Feet
• Date Built: November 1995
From the top, the MN-15 bridge is very nondescript. You hardly even know that you are crossing a bridge, let alone the mighty Mississippi River. From below, the bridge has a little more character. The pointed arches in the piers and fake cut stone effect remind one more of a Gothic cathedral than a modern bridge.

MN-15 used to use the old Sauk Rapids Bridge. MN-15 was rebuilt as a bypass running between Sauk Rapids and Sartell. When the MN-15 number was moved to the new bridge, the old bridge was turned back to the counties.

The Bridge of Hope name is the result of a bridge naming contest held throughout the local school systems. The winning name is intended to memorialize Jacob Wetterling. Wetterling was kidnapped and most likely murdered on October 22, 1989, at the age of 11. Despite the kidnapper being on foot, being spotted by 2 other children, the Police being on the scene within minutes, and a massive search that was organized that very evening, no trace of the kidnapper or Jacob have ever been found.

The photo above is a view from the river flats on the north end of the bridge structure looking to the southwest. The photo below is also from the north end of the bridge and a bit upstream of the structure looking to the southwest. The Bridge of Hope crosses the Mississippi River at a location where there is a large island in the river, resulting in the bridge crossing two river channels. This channel is the northern of the two channels.


Bridge Of Hope
Bridge Of Hope
These two photos are views of a typical river crossing heading southbound. The photo above is entering the north end of the bridge from an entrance ramp heading to the south. The photo below is a view from near the mid-point of the river crossing.

Bridge Of Hope
Bridge Of Hope
The photo above is looking north along the east face of Bridge of Hope. The photo below is looking southwest from near the underpass where Benton Drive North passes under the north end of the Bridge of Hope.

Bridge Of Hope
Bridge Of Hope
The photo above is a profile view of the bridge as seen from the north side of the river and a bit downstream of the bridge. This view is the southern of the two river channels. The photos below are views from under the bridge structure at the north end of the bridge. The left photo is looking down the east face of the bridge. The photo below is looking down the center of the bridge piers. The gothic arch and imprint of stones in the concrete make this look more like a medieval cathedral than a modern highway bridge.

Bridge Of Hope Bridge Of Hope

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2012, all rights reserved.
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