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Minnesota's Historic Bridges
Nymore Bridge

Nymore Bridge

The Nymore Bridge is located in downtown Bemidji, Minnesota, where it carries First Street, County Highway 110, over the Mississippi River. At this point the Mississippi is essentially a channel between Lake Bemidji on the north and Lake Irving on the south. When built in 1916, the bridge carried "Old Highway 2," connecting the city of Bemidji with the village of Nymore. In 1917, Nymore was annexed by the city of Bemidji as the fifth ward. Today, the main city traffic is carried by Bridge No. 5316, located a short distance northeast on Paul Bunyan Drive, Minnesota State Highway 197. Nymore Bridge continues to serve local traffic.

Aligned on a northwest-southeast axis, Nymore Bridge is a three-span, reinforced concrete, filled-spandrel, barrel-vault, segmental-arch bridge, with no sidewalks and "U" abutments. Overall length is 168 feet, with a center span length of 65 feet, and adjacent spans of approximately 40 feet. The bridge's out-out width is 31 feet, carrying a 28-foot roadway. Maximum vertical clearance is approximately 15 feet. Piers and abutments are marked by prominent pilasters. The piers have round starlings, identical on both upstream and downstream sides. The bridge has Classical Revival elements, including raised, bush-hammered panels on pilasters, abutments, spandrel walls and the filled-panel railings. A large utility pipe obscures (but does not alter) the west railing. Five of eight original light-standards survive. The bridge retains structural and design integrity.

The reinforcing system employed in the Nymore Bridge was patented in 1906 by George M. Cheney, Indianapolis, Indiana, and received Letters Patent No. 820,921. Cheney's patent was assigned to the Standard Reinforced Concrete Company, also of Indianapolis, Indiana, who prepared the plans and specifications for Nymore Bridge. Cheney's system basically involves constructing an arched metal truss of angles and gusset plants, separated into vertical panels, all of which is pinned and/or wired together. Angles extend up to reinforce the spandrel walls. This structure is erected, forms constructed around it, concrete poured and the arch truss becomes embedded in the concrete. Cheney claimed in The Specifications of Letters Patent for Patent No. 820,921 that his system was designed "to produce a reinforcing structure adapted to be embedded within the concrete, the construction and arrangement of said reinforcing structure being such as to eliminate or nearly eliminate the probability of cracking, but also being such that if there be cracking it will occur along predetermined lines the concrete structure being so formed as to render less apparent any such cracks."

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