The highway 70 state line crossing between Minnesota and Wisconsin is
somewhat unusual in that these two state highways keep the same number
on both sides of the state line. While that is standard for Interstate
and US highways, it is uncommon for state highways. In Wisconsin, WI-70
started as a 10 mile long route in 1917 running from Grantsburg east to
WI-35. In 1929, the Grantsburg Toll Bridge over the Saint Croix River was
completed, and WI-70 was extended to the state line. On the Minnesota
side, MN-70 was authorized in 1933, and numbered to match WI-70. It
was paved in 1949. Today, both MN-70 and WI-70 combine to serve as an
alternate route to the northern Wisconsin recreation areas for traffic
to avoid congested highway US-8.
The old Grantsburg Toll Bridge was removed and replaced in 1991 by this
modern steel girder bridge. The new bridge was built purely for function,
and is devoid of any decorative features. It does have, however, the
current favored guardrails. These are the type where the concrete has
an angle to help absorb some crash forces, and the concrete is solid
at the bridge deck level to prevent road debris from washing into the river.
This bridge has a DNR visitor center on the Minnesota side, and a
rest area on the Wisconsin side. The site is complete with trails
that take you to the river, under the bridge, and connect with the
regional trail system.
The photo above is a view from traffic heading eastbound overlooking the
Saint Croix River valley from the crest of the bluffs on the Minnesota side
of the river. The photo below is a view of the bridge looking to the
southeast from the DNS visitor center parking lot.
These two photos are views from the Wisconsin side of the river looking
to the northwest. The photo above is the south face of the bridge, while
the photo below is a profile view of the river crossing.
These two photos were taken from the Wisconsin side of the river. The
photo above is a close view of a mid-river span as seen from a location
on the east riverbank downriver from the bridge. The photo below is a
view looking west along the south face of the bridge.
These two photos are views of the south facing downriver side of the bridge.
The view is looking east towards Wisconsin. The photo above is the south
face of the bridge from directly under the edge of the traffic deck. The
photo below is a similar view from slightly further downriver.
The photo above is a view under the bridge looking west towards the
Minnesota side of the Saint Croix River. The photo below is the bridge
plate. It carries a date of July 20, 1991.
The photo above is the traffic deck looking east towards Wisconsin from the
southwest corner of the structure. The photo below is entering the west end
of the bridge while traveling eastbound on MN-70.