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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
The Richard Felt Bridge
Mississippi River Bridge (Private)
Clearwater County, MN

Felt Bridge

• Location: River Mile 1335.0
• River Elevation: 1,402 Feet
• County: Clearwater
• Highway: Private Driveway
• Structure Type: Wood Truss
• Bridge Length: 40 Feet
• Bridge Width: 12 Feet
• Height Above Water: 5 Feet
• Date Built: July 1998
The original bridge at this location was built in 1896 by Richard Felt. It was the first Mississippi River roadway bridge built between Lake Itasca and Bemidji. The bridge fell into disrepair after the Larson Bridge was built on nearby County Road 2, but was still used by the Felt family for access to the northern part of their farm.

In the late 1990s, grandson Kenneth Felt decided to rebuild the bridge. He constructed a replica that looks very much like the original bridge, but has a structure that is modified from a flatbed truck trailer. One feature of the original bridge that is included on the replica is the timber A-frame and steel suspension rods.

The bridge is located on the Felt family farm. There is an access trail leading off of Country Road 2. The Felt family apparently does not mind people visiting the bridge. The trail leading to the bridge is not improved, and can only be traveled when it is dry, such as the mid and late summer months. The photo above is the first view of the bridge when approaching the structure from the west side of the river.

Felt Bridge
The photo above is looking northwest across the bridge deck. The river flows to the northeast at this location. As a result, the current is flowing towards the right side of the photo. The photo below is a close view of the suspension mechanism. Given the light weight of the timbers, this system looks to be largely decorative.

Felt Bridge
Felt Bridge
These two photos are views of the downriver face of the bridge looking towards the north and the east. The wood retaining walls that hold back the abutment are seen under the bridge.

Felt Bridge
Felt Bridge
The photo above is a profile view of the Felt Bridge from a vantage point just west of the structure. The photo below is plaque that is mounted near the bridge.

Felt Bridge

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