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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
US Highway 2 Near Ball Club
Mississippi River Highway Crossing
Near Ball Club, MN

US Highway 2 Near Ball Club

• Structure ID: NBI 5760
• Location: River Mile 1221.5
• River Elevation: 1,278 Feet
• Counties: Cass, Itasca
• Highway: US Highway 2
• Daily Traffic Count: 3,600 (2004)
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder
• Bridge Length: 165 Feet, 70 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 43 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Height Above Water: 7 Feet
• Date Opened: 1938
When looking at this bridge, the first thing that comes to mind is that there is no way that this modern looking steel and concrete bridge was built in 1938. Examining the bridge plate only adds to the mystery, it has two dates on it, 1938 and 1987. So, which is it? Well, both.

The US-2 bridge was built in 1938. It had two piers, steel girders, and a concrete deck. The railings were open metal rails that were bolted to the bridge deck. In 1987, the bridge was lowered and widened. To make this happen, the piers had to be made wider. The solution was to drive four new piles, and use those new piles to support a wider concrete cap on the old piers (after they were cut down slightly in height). Additional steel was put down on both sides of the existing steel, and a new wider deck was installed. New style concrete railings finished off the remodel job. The result is a very modern looking old bridge that is safer and will last many years into the future.

Prior to 1938, the river was spanned by a lift bridge. At the same time, the railroad bridge that runs parallel to US-2 had a swing bridge. This must have been a bridge lovers dream to be in this area as the river boat would come steaming up the river, and both bridges had to operate to allow the boat to pass.

This bridge is the second of five bridges that cross the Mississippi River where the great river is the boundary between Cass County and Itasca County.

The photo above is a profile view of the bridge. Note the unusual pier configuration due to the 1987 reconstruction. The photo below is view looking west across the bridge deck. Both photos were taken late in the evening with the sun very low in the sky.

US Highway 2 Near Ball Club
US Highway 2 Near Ball Club
These two photos are views of the south face of the bridge from the waterline on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The photo above is a profile view, while the photo below is a close view of the main river channel.

US Highway 2 Near Ball Club
US Highway 2 Near Ball Club
The photo above is a view of the south face of the bridge from the east river bank. The photo below is looking east across the bridge deck from the southwest corner of the structure.

US Highway 2 Near Ball Club
US Highway 2 Near Ball Club
The photo above is a view of the bridge from the southeast corner of the bridge deck. The BNSF rail bridge is located just downriver from the US-2 highway bridge. The photo below is the bridge plate. Note the two different years on the bridge plate.

US Highway 2 Near Ball Club

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