The Sauk Rapids Bridge is one of three deck truss bridges to cross the
Mississippi River. That is, a big metal truss holds the bridge up, but the
big metal truss is under the roadway rather than above the roadway. The metal
structure under the bridge can be seen in the photo above, which is looking
west towards the bridge from the north river bank. This type of bridge is
considered to be obsolete due to being very hard to inspect and being of a
non-redundant design. This is the same type of structure as the I-35W bridge
that collapsed in August, 2007. In the case of the Sauk Rapids Bridge, it was
closed on October 25, 2007, and it is was removed before the end of 2007.
Losing the Sauk Rapids Bridge is yet another blow to historic preservation.
This is a visually interesting bridge of a type that we will not see
built again in the future. Motorists, however, have been looking forward
to the new bridge for years. The old bridge is narrow, it has no
shoulders, only one sidewalk, and it is very busy for a 2-lane bridge.
This bridge was once MN-15. A new MN-15 bypass was built about a mile
upstream, complete with a freeway style bridge over the Mississippi River.
This bridge later carried 1st Street S. The new bridge at Sauk Rapids
connects 9th Ave N south of the river to 2nd Street N in downtown Sauk Rapids.
The photo above is a view of the east face of the bridge as seen from the
regional trail that crosses under the north end of the structure. The photo
below is the west face of the bridge, also looking south across the
The photo above is a close view of the river channel spans as seen from
the riverbank on the north side of the Mississippi River. The photo below
is a view from directly under the bridge looking to the south. Note that
the steel appears to be in very good condition and the bridge looks to be
The photo above is looking south down the length of the bridge deck from
the sidewalk at the northwest corner of the structure. The photo below
is looking north down the length of the bridge deck from a vehicle
traveling northbound across the bridge.
The photo above is a profile view of the bridge as seen from a park located
on the north side of the river and slightly downstream of the structure.
The photo below is the bridge plate.