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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Wabasha-Nelson Bridge
MN-60/WI-25 Mississippi River Crossing At Wabasha
Wabasha, Minnesota

Wabasha-Nelson Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 79000 (MN).
• Location: River Mile 760.2.
• River Elevation: 667 Feet.
• Highway: MN-60, WI-25.
• Daily Traffic Count: 5,300 (2002).
• Bridge Type: Steel Truss Through Deck.
• Length: 2,462 Feet Overall, 470 Foot Main Span.
• Width: 40 Feet, 2 Lanes.
• Navigation Channel Width: 403 Feet.
• Height Above Water: 64 Feet.
• Date Built: Opened July 30, 1988.
The current bridge at Wabasha replaced a similar looking steel bridge from the 1930's. The old bridge was unique in that it made two 90 degree turns on the Minnesota side. Rather than have the bridge cross over Main Street, the bridge was approach turned 90 degrees to the south, ran down a slope along the shore, then turned 90 degrees to the west to meet Main Street. This effectively blocked off the river front from the town.

In contrast, the new bridge continues straight to the west, crossing several downtown streets before it descends to ground level. This has allowed Wabasha to redevelop its shoreline into a very nice system of parks and recreation area. The main span was built in a somewhat remarkable manner. It was constructed on barges outside of the main river channel. When it came time to erect the main span, the barges carrying the truss section were floated in place, and the truss was lifted onto the piers. This prevented any risk to the navigation channel during construction. This method of construction would be seen again in 2003 in La Crosse.

Wabasha is famous for the Grumpy Old Men movies. It is also noted as the home of the Anderson House Inn, a place where you can rent a kitty cat along with your room for the night.

The National Bridge Inventory lists this bridge in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. It has a single NBI number in Minnesota for a 750.4 meter long bridge. In Wisconsin, the NBI lists sever NBI numbers for spans from 43 meters to 145 meters as follows:

     NBI: B06007900010000, 142 Feet.
     NBI: B06007900020000, 392 Feet.
     NBI: B06007900030000, 261 Feet.
     NBI: B06007900040000, 358 Feet.
     NBI: B06007900050000, 358 Feet.
     NBI: B06007900060000, 478 Feet.
     NBI: B060079003A0000, 471 Feet.

Wabasha-Nelson Bridge
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Wabasha-Nelson Bridge

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