Dodd Ford Bridge (Bridge 1461)
History & significance
The Dodd Ford Bridge is a single-span steel, pin-connected Pratt through-truss in a camelback configuration. It was erected in 1901 and carries County Road 147 over the Blue Earth River in rural Shelby Township in Blue Earth County. The bridge is a significant example of the work of Lawrence Henry Johnson, an engineer important to the history of bridge building in Minnesota. It is one of two bridges built by Johnson during this period that are known to survive today. It is also significant for its association with transportation development as an example of the unprecedented government funding of public works projects in Blue Earth County that occurred during the Progressive Era. It represents the culmination of Blue Earth County’s effort to provide a vital transportation link between the growing city of Amboy and the farming community it served.
The Dodd Ford Bridge was rehabilitated, and reopened to traffic the summer 2016. Since the original abutments were in poor condition, the truss, or metal, portion of the bridge was lifted off the original abutments and placed on temporary supports while the contractor rebuilt new abutments. New I-beams were placed on the new abutments and the historic truss was placed on top. The new supports will help the over 100 year old bridge carry modern traffic loads, while maintaining its historic character.
Watch a celebration held to mark the reopening of the Dodd Ford Bridge (YouTube).
Shelby Township (Blue Earth County)
Latitude, Longitude: 43.87632681, -94.18784358