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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Arkola Road Bridge
CSAH-52 Saint Louis River Highway Crossing
Toivola, MN

Arkola Road Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 69541
• Location: River Mile 93.1
• River Elevation: 1,240 Feet
• Highways: CSAH-52
• Daily Traffic Count: 100 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Prestressed Concrete Girder, Concrete Deck
• Bridge Length: 254 Feet, 83 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 32 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet
• Date Built: 1986
The Arkola Road Bridge sees very little traffic, 100 cars a day on average, but it is an important cross-county connector road. In addition, it is the only Saint Louis River bridge for approximately 8 miles in either direction.

The bridge is a very typical prestressed concrete girder bridge. It has modern features such as the reinforced concrete deck and slanted guardrails. The bridge is supported by two very hefty T-piers sitting on deep foundations. While the river looks rather tranquil in these photos, it can become a raging torrent during spring run-off and other high-water periods. In fact, water can rise to within a foot of the bridge girders. As a result, the bridge piers need to be able to withstand both the pressure of high water and impacts from the debris that is carried downstream by the water.

One interesting feature of the bridge is that it is built on a slight curve. When the bridge was built, it was built to the south side of the existing bridge. The existing bridge was built straight in line with Arkola Road. To connect the new bridge to the existing roadway, the roadway needed to be realigned slightly. A slight curve was added to the bridge to reduce the length of the roadbed that needed to be realigned.

The photo above is a view of the upriver north side of the Arkola Road Bridge as seen from the parking area located on the east bank of the Saint Louis River. A trail leads down to the water to a canoe landing. The photo below is the bridge plate.


Arkola Road Bridge
Arkola Road Bridge
These two photos are views looking east from the west end of the bridge. The photo below is looking down the middle of the bridge deck, while the photo below is looking across the bridge deck from the southwest corner of the structure.

Arkola Road Bridge
Arkola Road Bridge
These two photos are additional views from the public water access parking area on the northeast side of the bridge site. The photo below is looking downstream from the east river bank, while the photo below is looking west down the upstream north face of the bridge.

Arkola Road Bridge

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