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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Floodwood Bridge
CSAH-8 Saint Louis River Highway Crossing
Floodwood, MN

Floodwood Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 69505
• Location: River Mile 72.0
• River Elevation: 1,230 Feet
• Highways: CSAH-8
• Daily Traffic Count: 630 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Prestressed Concrete Girder, Concrete Deck
• Bridge Length: 303 Feet, 100 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 32 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet
• Date Built: 1974
CSAH-8 is a regional connector route between US-53 and US-2. In fact, when US-2 was first added to the US highway system, it followed the route of CSAH-8. US-2 was later moved to a new alignment south of the Saint Louis River. This is the first highway crossing of the Saint Louis River downstream of the convergence with the Whiteface River. Those two rivers join together to form a relatively impressive waterway.

The Floodwood Bridge is a modern style prestressed concrete girder bridge with a reinforced concrete deck. It has the modern style slanted and solid guardrails. The only noteworthy feature of the bridge is that it is unexpectedly narrow for a county state-aid highway. At 32 feet, there is room for two standard sized lanes, and very little room for shoulders. There is also no designated pedestrian walkway, but with such low traffic levels, that probably is not a significant operational issue.

The East Savanna River joins the Saint Louis River just downstream of this bridge. The East Savanna River is part of the historic Savanna Portage trail. While native Americans knew of this connection, it was the early trappers and traders that made use of the trail. One could paddle down the Saint Lawrence Seaway, through the great lakes, across Lake Superior, up the Saint Louis River, down the East Savanna River, across a short portage, then down the West Savanna River, across Big Sandy Lake, across a short 2,000 foot portage, and then be in the Mississippi River headed towards the Gulf of Mexico or the Mississippi River headwaters area. The portage was so heavily used that locks and dams were installed, and it became the first improved waterway in the new world.

The photo above is a view of the upstream north side of the bridge as seen from the west bank of the Saint Louis River. The photo below is looking east along the downstream south face of the Floodwood Bridge.

Floodwood Bridge
Floodwood Bridge
The photo above is looking east down the center of the deck of the Floodwood Bridge. The narrow bridge deck is apparent in this view. The photo below is looking northeast across the bridge deck from the southwest corner of the structure.

Floodwood Bridge

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