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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Fort Victory Bridge
Saint Louis River Pedestrian Crossing
Aurora, MN

Fort Victory Bridge

• Structure ID: N/A
• Location: River Mile 159.6
• River Elevation: 1364 Feet
• Bridge Type: Steel Cable Suspension
• Bridge Length: 145 Feet (Estimated), 145 Foot Longest Span (Estimated)
• Bridge Width: 4 Feet (Estimated)
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable
• Height Above Water: 4 Feet (Estimated At Mid-Span)
• Date Built: ???
Fort Victory is a camp for disabled children. It is owned and operated by a faith-based organization from Aurora, MN. The bridge was built to provide access from the camp facilities on the north bank of the river to a network of trails on the south side of the river. I do not know when the camp was established or when the bridge was built. It shows up on the oldest aerial photos that I have access to, which go back to 1991.

The bridge is a classic steel cable suspension footbridge. Steel poles were driven into the ground on each side of the river. Cables were hung between these poles. The bridge deck is suspended from these cables on chains. That allows the cables to act as hand rails as well as holding up the bridge. The support poles are held upright by anchor cables that are connected to rods that are driven into the ground about eight feet back from the support poles. The deck is built from two inch pressure treated wood.

The photo above is looking south across the Saint Louis River down the center of the Fort Victory Bridge. The bridge deck is very bright compared to the dark water and dark green trees, making it stand out on aerial photos as well as these views from the north bank of the Saint Louis River.

Fort Victory Bridge
The photo above is the north bridge portal and the anchor point for the suspension cables. The photo below is a view of the river crossing from near the northwest corner of the structure.

Fort Victory Bridge
Fort Victory Bridge
These two photos are views of the downriver west face of the bridge as seen from downriver of the structure. The photo above shows the steep climb on the south side of the river, while the photo below shows how close the bridge deck comes to the river. Despite this being low enough for canoeists to have to duck, this obstacle is not listed on the DNR canoe guide for the Saint Louis River.

Fort Victory Bridge
Fort Victory Bridge
The photo above is another view of the south end of the bridge disappearing into the trees on the south side of the river. The photo below is the sign at the entrance to Fort Victory. Despite the sign saying ‘Welcome’, the fort site is private property.

Fort Victory Bridge

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