I wonder if Craigslist has a category for bridges? If it did, you would currently find a listing for Kern Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in Minnesota.
The Kern Bridge was a single-span, wrought-iron, bowstring arch through truss resting on limestone abutments.
The bridge was significant as the only example of a bowstring through truss bridge in Minnesota and for its exceptional span length.
The bridge was constructed in 1873, and sat straddling a river in the southeast corner of South Bend Township in Blue Earth County until winter of 2020 when it was taken down.
Now the Kern Bridge is sitting dismantled in storage, but hopefully not for long. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has this one-of-a-kind-in-Minnesota up for sale.
The relocation of the bridge isn't as simple as just buying it and putting it on your property. There are certain requirements that need to be met:
- Bridge must be rehabilitated to historic standards
- The bridge must go to a city, county or state agency. Cities of less than 5,000 population must have a county sponsor to apply for it.
So not just any joe-schmo can apply to have this bridge. It isn't an eBay bidding war, we are talking about historic structures to our state:
These bridges have been determined eligible for or are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, in large part because they are representative of a particular bridge type, were designed or constructed by an important Minnesota-bridge designer or builder, and/or for their historic value to Minnesota’s engineering heritage.
The Kern Bridge is said to be an ideal one for a walking or biking trail or placement in a park. I know I would love to see it along a trail in central Minnesota. We have plenty to choose from, or a brand new one with this bridge would be fun too.
If your community is in the market for a gently used bridge, they are accepting letters of intent through the end of August. Get all the information here.