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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
BNSF Bridge — Saint Cloud
Mississippi River Railroad Crossing
Saint Cloud, MN

BNSF Bridge Saint Cloud

• Location: River Mile 927.8
• River Elevation: 981 Feet
• Counties: Benton And Stearns
• Railroad: BNSF Railroad
• Daily Traffic Count: 2 Trains Per Day (Estimated)
• Bridge Type: Steel Deck Truss
• Bridge Length: 587 Feet, 170 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 1 Track
• Height Above Water: 20 Feet (To Low Steel)
• Date Built: June 12, 1872
Bridge was first built by the Saint Cloud, Saint Paul, and Pacific Railroad for its Minneapolis to Moorhead line. The Railroad became the Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba in 1878, later to become the Great Northern Railroad. The GN became part of the Burlington Northern in 1970, and is now part of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe. The BNSF sold the bridge and track west of Saint Cloud to a short line named Northern Lines Railway which is part of the Anacostia & Pacific Company. The A&P specializes in taking over older rail lines and creating short line operations.

The bridge has some extra steel bracing hanging down under the main bridge structure. This was added in 1922 to increase the load carrying capacity of the bridge as ever larger railroad equipment became available. The strengthening project project also included adding a third truss down the middle of the bridge structure. This bridge saw traffic of 20 or more trains a day as recently as the early 1990s. With the BNSF merger and this line being sold off to a short line, rail traffic is down to one or two trains a day.

The photo above is looking west from the Veterans Bridge, which is located two blocks downriver from the railroad bridge.

BNSF Bridge Saint Cloud
The photo above is a view of the BNSF Bridge as seen from the nearby Veterans Bridge located two city blocks downriver from the railroad bridge. The view is looking directly west. Note that the pier on the right is an original pier, while the pier on the left has been reinforced by encasing it in a concrete wrapper. The photo below is a view looking east from a park locate upriver on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

BNSF Bridge Saint Cloud
BNSF Bridge Saint Cloud
These two photos are views of the bridge from the level of the railroad tracks. The photo above is looking southwest towards downtown Saint Cloud from the northeast side of the river. The photo below is looking northeast from the southwest end of the bridge.

BNSF Bridge Saint Cloud

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