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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Lost Lake Road Bridge
CSAH-108 Saint Louis River Highway Crossing
Biwabik, MN

Lost Lake Road Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI: 69555
• Location: River Mile 144.8
• River Elevation: 1,334 Feet
• Highways: CSAH-108
• Daily Traffic Count: 250 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Prestressed Concrete Girder, Concrete Deck
• Bridge Length: 147 Feet, 49 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 34 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable
• Height Above Water: 16 Feet
• Date Built: 1989
Upstream of this location, the Saint Louis River falls rapidly from nearly 1,700 feet in elevation down to about 1,350 feet. From here to the Forbes Dam, the river drops very gradually. The water is slow moving, and appears to be almost still at times. You can see right to the bottom when you look over either edge of the CSAH-108 bridge.

The bridge is the typical prestressed concrete girder structure. It has wide shoulders and modern guardrails, a nice luxury for a bridge that is so lightly used. The river crossing is divided into three equal length spans of 49 feet each. The mid-span joints are supported by two sets of piers. The piers are constructed by driving steel pipes into the riverbed, and topping off the pipes with a reinforced concrete pier cap. The steel pipes on the outside end of each pier is set at an angle to give the pier side to side strength. This allows a rather light structure to support the required highway load weights.

Highway CSAH-108 was rebuilt and realigned on a new path when this bridge was built in 1989. The old roadway made a sweeping S-curve to wind between several oxbow loops in the Saint Louis River. One of these loops was cut off, and the road was rebuilt along a nearly straight north and south path. The approaches to the old bridge still exist, as well as the foundation for a bridge pier.

The photo above is looking north down the center of the Lost Lake Road Bridge. The photo below is looking northeast across the bridge deck from near the southwest corner of the structure. The sky in these two photos is totally clear and dark blue, something that is relatively uncommon in summer near Lake Superior, especially in the afternoon.

Lost Lake Road Bridge
Lost Lake Road Bridge
The photo above is the downstream west face of the Lost Lake Road Bridge as seen from the north shore of the Saint Louis River. The photo below is looking southeast along the upstream river channel as seen from the bridge deck.

Lost Lake Road Bridge
Lost Lake Road Bridge
The photo above is looking downstream to the west from the bridge deck. The structure in the water is the foundation for the old river bridge. The photo below is the bridge plate.

Lost Lake Road Bridge

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