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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Biauswah Bridge
MN-23 Saint Louis River Highway Crossing
Duluth, MN

Biauswah Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 6313
• Location: River Mile 19.9
• River Elevation: 602 Feet
• Highway: MN-23
• Daily Traffic Count: 1,200 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Concrete Arch
• Bridge Length: 739 Feet, 116 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 44 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: 116 Feet
• Height Above Water: 23 Feet
• Date Built: 1919
The MN-23 Biauswah Bridge is the final highway crossing over the Saint Louis River in the Twin Ports area. MN-23 is known as Veterans Evergreen Memorial Highway in this area. The north side of the bridge connects to the Fond du Lac neighborhood of Duluth. The south side connects to rural Wisconsin. The river has two channels at this location, the photo above shows the northernmost channel. Only about half of the bridge is visible in this photo. There is a very nice city park on the north side of the bridge that offers a great view of the structure. Jay Cooke State Park lies to the west of this bridge and highway MN-23. Highway MN-210, which runs through the park skirting the north and east bank of the Saint Louis River, intersects MN-23 just north of this bridge.

An interesting quirk of geography happens with MN-23 south of this bridge. The Wisconsin and Minnesota state line is an arbitrary vertical line, with Minnesota on the west and Wisconsin on the east. That line runs north until it hits the Saint Louis River. As it turns out, that line intersects the Saint Louis River just slightly west of this bridge. MN-23 runs on a diagonal to the southwest. As a result, MN-23 enters Wisconsin on the south end of this bridge, and continues though Wisconsin for about half a mile. This section of MN-23 in Wisconsin is very far away from any other Wisconsin maintained highways. As a result, the two states have an agreement where they kind of pretend that this did not happen. That is, the road is maintained by the state of Minnesota, it is signed as MN-23, and there are no state line signs to indicate that you passed through Wisconsin, ever so briefly as it may be.

There were two Ojibwa Chiefs named Biauswah, a father and son. The father was legendary for having traded his life for his son's life after his son was captured by the Fox band. The Fox let the son go and tortured and killed the father. Later, the son, who took his father's name, returned in force and drove the Fox out of Minnesota and into southern Wisconsin. The bridge is named in honor of these two great Ojibwa warriors to honor all Native Americans who have served in the US military.


Biauswah Bridge
These two photos show a typical northbound bridge crossing. In the photo above, we are just entering the south end of the bridge. We are at the peak of the hump in the bridge in the photo below, and just starting downhill towards the north end of the structure.

Biauswah Bridge
Biauswah Bridge
The photo above is looking downstream towards the east along the north bank of the north channel of the Saint Louis River towards the northernmost three spans of the Biauswah Bridge. The photo below is the signage at the south end of the bridge, which includes the square green sign designating this as an officially named bridge.

Biauswah Bridge

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2014, all rights reserved.
For further information, contact: john@johnweeks.com