The huge MN-33 expressway bridge sits very close to the Main Street bridge. While the MN-33 bridge soars high over the water, the Main Street bridge is very low to the water. This is an interesting side by side contrast. The reason is that the heavily traveled MN-33 expressway goes over the top of the railroad tracks to avoid having through traffic stop for trains. The much less used Main Street bridge is at the same grade level as the railroad tracks. Since railroads are very sensitive to elevation and grades, the rail tracks cannot easily be raised or lowered. As a result, the elevation of Main Street was determined by the railroad tracks.
The bridge is a prestressed concrete girder bridge with a reinforced concrete deck. That is pretty typical of a rural Minnesota bridge. What is not as typical is the extensive use of decorative elements on the bridge. We see cobblestone on the side of the bridge, paver stones on the walkways, wrought iron guardrails, and fancy retro-style street lights. While I am sure that these features added to the cost of the bridge, a bridge sitting in a location such as this that has both the natural beauty of the Saint Louis River and the history of the city of Cloquet simply has to be a signature structure. The bridge designers really hit a home run with this landmark bridge.
The photo above is looking south along the upriver west face of the Main Street Bridge over the south channel of the Saint Louis River. Dunlap Island is on the near side of the river. The US Gypsum mill is on the far side of the channel. The photo below is a view of the Main Street Bridge as seen from the sidewalk on the upriver side of the MN-33 highway bridge over the south channel of the Saint Louis River.