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Minnesota's Historic Bridges
Bridge No. L-4013
Historic Significance


Bridge No. L-4013

Bridge No. L-4013 is historically significant for the engineering embodied in the bridge design and construction. Constructed in 1915, the structure is important as the only surviving, authenticated example of an early 20th century, state-designed, stone-arch bridge. Since its design is replicated in other counties, the bridge provides strong evidence that the Minnesota State Highway Commission attempted to standardize stone-arch bridge construction in much the same way that it sought to create uniformity in the design of steel and concrete bridges.

The Minnesota State Highway Commission was officially organized in 1905 to improve the quality of roads and bridges in the state. To fulfill its responsibilities, the commission assigned field engineers to assist county governments with highway projects and prepared a series of standard bridge plans. Standardized bridge plans are known for beam spans, plat girders, low and high trusses, reinforced concrete slab and girder bridges. Although commission reports do not mention a stone-arch plan, the commission's field engineers apparently had at their disposal a standard short-span design appropriate for the limestone region of southeastern Minnesota. In January, 1915, for example, Houston County requested Alfred J. Rasmussen, the commission's engineer for that county to make a survey and draw plans for a bridge in Section 20 (southwest quarter of northwest quarter) of Black Hammer Township. The county approved the plans a month later. Although county records provide no further information on the project, the bridge presumably was built by the end of the summer.

Constructed in 1915, the structure is important as the only surviving, authenticated example of an early 20th century, state-designed, stone-arch bridge. Since its design is replicated in other counties, the bridge provides strong evidence that the Minnesota State Highway Commission attempted to standardize stone-arch bridge construction in much the same way that it sought to create uniformity in the design of steel and concrete bridges.


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