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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Jefferson Avenue SW
Mississippi River Highway Crossing
Bemidji, MN

Jefferson Avenue SW

• Structure ID: NBI 04521
• Location: River Mile 1288.2
• River Elevation: 1,342 Feet
• County: Beltrami
• Highway: Beltrami County Highway 11, Jefferson Avenue SW
• Daily Traffic Count: 2,500 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Prestressed Concrete Girder
• Bridge Length: 115 Feet
• Bridge Width: 44 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Height Above Water: 9 Feet (Estimated)
• Date Built: 2001
The Jefferson Avenue bridge is located in the Bemidji area just outside of the city limits. Like the bridge just up river at Fern Lake Road, this is a single span bridge that crosses the mighty river in a single bound. Unlike the bridge just up river, this bridge is dressed up a little with horizontal lines on the outside of the bridge railings and vertical lines on the abutments. Like many of the headwaters area bridges, this one features a solar powered river monitor placed by the State of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, who is watching the river for oxygen levels and heavy metals such as mercury.

According to the Mary Costello book (Climbing The Mississippi River Bridge By Bridge, Volume 2), the original bridge at this location was the 1926 Ritchie Highway Bridge, which was replaced by a pre-fabricated 1956 precast prestressed concrete bridge. The 1956 bridge was nearly a carbon copy of the Beltrami County Highway 5 bridge over the Mississippi River.

The photo above is a view of the west side and under the bridge as seen from the water level. The photo below is a view looking north across the traffic deck.

Jefferson Avenue SW
Jefferson Avenue SW
The photo above is a view of the side of the bridge as seen from the northwest corner of the structure. The electronic monitoring equipment is attached to the upriver side of the structure. The photo below is the bridge plate. Note that a survey marker is embedded on top of the bridge railing just above the bridge plate.

Jefferson Avenue SW

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