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.
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.
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.