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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Veterans Bridge
Mississippi River Highway Crossing
Saint Cloud, MN

Veterans Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 73514
• Location: River Mile 927.7
• River Elevation: 981 Feet
• Counties: Benton, Stearns
• Highways: E St Germain St, 1st St N
• Daily Traffic Count: 16,300 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder
• Bridge Length: 767 Feet, 215 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 54 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Height Above Water: 42 Feet
• Date Built: 1971
The Veterans Bridge river crossing connects 1st Ave on the south to Saint Germain Street on the north. While the official name of the structure is the Veterans Bridge, it has long been called the Saint Germain Bridge by the locals. Earlier bridges at this location have been the primary Mississippi River crossing in Saint Cloud until the DeSoto Bridge opened just down stream. This bridge briefly regained that status after the DeSoto Bridge was demolished in 2008 until the Granite City Crossing opened in late 2009.

The bridge crosses the river at a slight angle. But to prevent problems with ice and scour, the piers are set parallel to the water flow. The look ends up a bit unusual, the bridge is set at one angle, and the piers are set at yet another angle. Both the steel girders and hand rails are painted black, just like the DeSoto bridge. It looks sharp on this bridge given the contrast with the white concrete.

According to the Mary Costello book (Climbing The Mississippi River Bridge By Bridge, Volume 2), the first river crossing was a ferry, followed by a wooden toll bridge in 1867, and an iron bridge in 1887. The 1887 bridge was replaced in 1894 by a deck truss bridge that was designed for wagons and street cars. It must have been impressive to see these two deck truss bridges standing next to each other from 1958 to 1970.

The photo above is a view of the southeast face of the bridge as seen from the east corner of the structure.


Veterans Bridge
The photo above is a profile view of the southeast face of the bridge as seen from the Civic Center located on the southwest bank of the Mississippi River. The photo below is a late winter profile view of the Veterans Bridge looking upstream from the newly built Granite City Crossing bridge.

Veterans Bridge
Veterans Bridge
These two photos are looking southwest down the length of the traffic deck from the northeast end of the bridge. The photo above is taken from the left side of the roadway, while the photo below is taken from the right side of the road.

Veterans Bridge

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2014, all rights reserved.
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