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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Clearwater Bridge
Mississippi River Highway Crossing
Clearwater, MN

Clearwater Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 6557
• Location: River Mile 914
• River Elevation: 934 Feet
• Counties: Sherburne, Wright
• Highway: MN Highway 24
• Daily Traffic Count: 16,300 (2004)
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder
• Bridge Length: 1,143 Feet, 148 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 30 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Height Above Water: 42 Feet
• Date Built: 1958
The MN-24 bridge at Clearwater is the second of two bridges that act as a quick connection between US-10 and I-94, both of which parallel the great river between Minneapolis and Saint Cloud. This bridge is relatively high off of the water despite not having river navigation traffic to worry about. The reason is that the river banks on the south (west) side of the river are rather tall. It is interesting to note that the bridge uses two sizes of steel girders, and two types of piers. The main river spans use closed in piers and much taller girders. The riverbank spans use girders that are about half as tall, and have an open style of pier.

Clearwater had a ferry crossing at this location as early as 1856. It is noted as being the longest operating ferry on the entire Mississippi. In 1897, a freak rainstorm dropped 14 inches of rain in 4 hours. This resulted in the destruction of the Clearwater mill dam and railroad bridge.

The Clearwater Bridge is scheduled for replacement in 2015. The project will involve building a new 4-lane river crossing and freeway connection to I-94.

The photo above is a profile view of the Clearwater Bridge as seen from the park located just upstream of the river crossing on the east bank of the Mississippi River. The photo below is a view of the north face of the bridge looking east from the northwest corner of the structure.

Clearwater Bridge
Clearwater Bridge
The photo above is looking east down the length of the traffic deck from the northwest corner of the structure. The photo below is the west abutment as seen from directly under the structure.

Clearwater Bridge
Clearwater Bridge
The photo above is a view along the downstream south face of the bridge as seen from the riverbank on the west side of the river. The photo below is a view of the river channel spans as seen from the boat landing located just upstream of the bridge on the east riverbank.

Clearwater Bridge

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