Minnesota has a bridge it’ll sell you

Who among us hasn’t thought, “my life would be complete if I only had half a bridge to call my own”?

Here’s our chance.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is selling the historic bridge over the Rainy River (not included) in Baudette, lovingly referred to as bridge #9412.

Picture yourself with this baby.

It’s a bit of a fixer-upper, according to MnDOT’s advertisement:

The existing bridge is a 1,285 foot six span overhead truss bridge originally built in 1959. It will be replaced with a new bridge adjacent to the existing bridge with construction beginning in mid-2018 and planned to be completed in late 2019 or early 2020.

The bridge is considered historic because it is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as an example of a major river crossing and also an example of a unique truss bridge type.

Because of that eligibility, federal law requires any state proposing demolition of a historic bridge must market its availability to any responsible government or other entity. Any or all of the three trusses of the bridge that are on the Minnesota side can be obtained at no cost.

The cost to disassemble, move and reassemble at a new location is the responsibility of the party obtaining the bridge. The party obtaining the bridge has to meet stipulations to be considered eligible including accepting all financial, legal and maintenance responsibilities and the entity must reassemble the bridge to maintain its historic
appearance and shape.

It won’t be available until 2020, MnDOT says. It has to replace it first. But you’ll have to submit your bid by mid-November.

That should give you enough time to figure out how to pay for removing it and also how to get rid of asbestos. MnDOT also wants you to submit your plans for where you’ll put the bridge.

Why is only half the bridge available? Because MnDOT only owns half of it. The Rainy River separates Minnesota from Ontario, which owns the other half.