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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
University Bridge
Mississippi River Highway Crossing
Saint Cloud, MN

University Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 73540
• Location: River Mile 926.5
• River Elevation: 981 Feet
• Counties: Sherburne, Stearns
• Highways: Michigan Ave SE, 10th St S
• Daily Traffic Count: 17,900 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Concrete Girder
• Bridge Length: 1,171 Feet Overall, 169 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 39 Feet
• Height Above Water: 20 Feet
• Date Opened: 1985
This very graceful concrete girder bridge crosses the great river, landing on the campus of Saint Cloud State University. As a result of its university setting, the bridge sees a lot of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The bridge itself is situated just upstream from the Saint Cloud Dam, so it crosses a broad deep section of the river. Signature features of the bridge include the curved piers, the curve on the north end of the bridge, and the detail work in the concrete.

It is interesting to note that despite the bridge deck having a curve, the girders are not curved. In the photo above, you can clearly see where the bridge deck bows out against the background of a straight girder. That is apparently how one builds a curved bridge using straight girders. This 1985 structure replaced an 1892 era through truss bridge.

The photo above is a view of the river crossing from a park located on the southeast side of the bridge structure.

University Bridge
The photo above is a profile view of the bridge as seen from the east end of the Saint Cloud Dam located just downriver from the bridge. The photo below is the east abutment of the bridge. Notice that the bridge is narrower than the abutment, and that there is a place to add two additional girders to eventually make the bridge wider. The City of Saint Cloud has a line item in their 2009 budget to expand the University Bridge to 4 lanes.

University Bridge
University Bridge
The photo above is the bridge deck as seen from the south side of the west end of the bridge, looking towards the east. The photo below is the south face of the bridge as seen from the riverbank on the west end of the bridge.

University Bridge
University Bridge
These two photos are views of the north face of the bridge as seen from the west end of the structure. The photo above is a view from the bridge deck level, while the photo below is a view from the riverbank.

University Bridge
University Bridge
The photo above is the western abutment of the University Bridge. The buildings in the photo are part of the Saint Cloud State University. The photo below is a marker placed near the bridge which features a photo of the bridge setting etched into the stone.

University Bridge

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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