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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Lavell Road Bridge
CR-230 Saint Louis River Highway Crossing
Toivola, MN

Lavell Road Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 69508
• Location: River Mile 97.2
• River Elevation: 1,249 Feet
• Highways: CR-230
• Daily Traffic Count: 40 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Prestressed Concrete Girder, Concrete Deck
• Bridge Length: 244 Feet, 80 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 28 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet
• Date Built: 1977
Lavell Road really doesn't go anywhere, and it doesn't appear to connect anything, and hardly anyone uses the road. As a result, one wonders why this river crossing has been maintained. For example, Tark Road, a few miles upstream, was simply abandoned and the river bridge was removed rather than being replaced. In any event, the county highway commission did see value in this river crossing, so, in 1977, they decided to install a modern style prestressed concrete girder bridge complete with a reinforced concrete deck and the modern style slanted guardrails. The result is a bridge that serves as a community gathering point for weekend beer parties and a host for graffiti as much as it does a Saint Louis River Crossing. No matter the result, this bridge will serve that need far into the future at a low maintenance cost.

The photo above is looking north down the center of the deck of the Lavell Road Bridge. The low afternoon sun combined with thick forest along the river make for a very dark scene.

The photo above is looking northeast across the bridge deck from the southwest corner of the structure. This view gives a good look at the graffiti on the bridge railings. The photo below is the bridge plate.

Due to the thick brush, there is no easy way to get down to the river level for a profile view of this bridge. These two photos looking north along the outside of the bridge railings are the best that I was able to do when I visited this bridge in 2008. The photo above is looking north along the downstream west face of the bridge, while the photo below is a similar view looking north along the upstream east face of the structure.

The photo above is looking upstream from the east side of the bridge deck. There is a sizable island in the river channel just upstream of this river crossing. The photo below is looking downstream from the west side of the bridge deck. This view is looking directly into the bright afternoon sun.


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