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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
MN State Highway 200
Mississippi River Highway Crossing
Near Itasca State Park, MN

MN State Highway 200

• Structure ID: NBI 15002
• Location: River Mile 1345
• River Elevation: 1,457 Feet
• County: Clearwater
• Highway: MN State Highway 200
• Daily Traffic Count: 740 (2004)
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder
• Bridge Length: 46 Feet, 24 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 47 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Height Above Water: 5 Feet
• Date Built: 1982
This bridge replaced a steel beam bridge built in 1919 and rebuilt in 1937. Highway engineers wanted to build a signature bridge at this location to recognize that this is the first true bridge to cross the mighty Mississippi River. One design that was considered is a laminated wooden arch. While it would have looked fantastic, the price was simply too high. As a compromise, a rather ordinary bridge was built, but it was dressed up with the wood cladding on each side of the structure, making it look like an old wooden bridge from the river level point of view.

The MN-200 bridge is located about 2 miles from the source of the Mississippi River. While MN-200 is a rather small state highway, it does stretch 2/3 of the way across the state of Minnesota, and it will cross the Mississippi River a second time. That crossing is between Grand Rapids and Aitkin about 100 miles east of this location.

Notice the solar panel and electronics box in the photo below. That is a river monitor station installed by the State of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. It monitors oxygen levels and checks for heavy metals such as mercury.

MN State Highway 200
The photo above is a side view of the MN-200 bridge. The sides of the bridge are covered with wood to make the bridge look more rustic. The photo below is a view of the river channel down river and to the north of the bridge. The channel in this area is little more than stream flowing through a marsh. The photo at the top of the page is a view of the bridge deck.

MN State Highway 200

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