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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Zim Road Bridge
CSAH-27 Saint Louis River Highway Crossing
Zim, MN

Zim Road Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 69623
• Location: River Mile 111.5
• River Elevation: 1,268 Feet
• Highways: CSAH-27
• Daily Traffic Count: 225 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Prestressed Concrete Girder, Concrete Deck
• Bridge Length: 290 Feet, 142 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 40 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet
• Date Built: 1999
Zim Road is one of those highways that you look at, and cannot figure why it exists. It historically connected the villages of Zim and Little Swan, neither of which still exist. The road was stitched together from 3 other east-west township roads, with a new diagonal section in the middle to tie it together. One can look at a topographical map and see the original path and location of the original bridge at this location prior to the new diagonal roadway being built. As it stands today, Zim Road, which is now partially state funded as a County State-Aid Highway, acts as a connector and river crossing between two much more heavily traveled north-south routes.

The bridge is relatively new, being nine years old when this was written. It is a very typical prestressed concrete girder bridge with a modern reinforced concrete deck and the new style slanted guardrails. The bridge has no decorative features. It will, however, last a great many years without requiring much in the line of routine inspections or maintenance. This is the true beauty of this type of bridge. It does the job very well, it is economical to build, and economical to maintain. An interesting feature of this bridge is that it is built on a slight angle. The river crosses under the bridge at a slight angle, plus the roadway dips to the south just a bit on the west end. Rather than squaring up the river, it was decided to build the bridge as a parallelogram rather than a rectangle.

The photo above is a view looking east along the downriver south face of the Zim Road Bridge. The two curves in the road east of the structure allows this new river bridge to connect to the old road alignment. The photo above is looking upstream along the Saint Louis River from the north side of the bridge deck. The old bridge was located at the point where the river bend to the right increases, about at the center of this photograph.

Zim Road Bridge
Zim Road Bridge
The photo above is is looking east down the center of the bridge deck. The photo below is looking northeast across the bridge deck from near the southwest corner of the structure. The fact that the bridge is set at an angle to the highway is very apparent in these two photos.

Zim Road Bridge
Zim Road Bridge
The photo above is a view looking east along the downstream south side of the bridge, while the photo below is looking east down the upstream north side of the structure. Both of these photos are compromises. Brush was blocking the view from the riverbank. The riverbank on the east end of the bridge was clear of brush, but the photos would have been facing into the bright afternoon sun.

Zim Road Bridge

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