Beaver Bay Bridge (Bridge 9395)
History & significance
Bridge 9395, built in 1959-1959, is a three-span, continuous, steel-girder structure. It carries State Highway 61 over the deep gorge of the Beaver River in the municipality of Beaver Bay, along Lake Superior’s north shore, in Lake County. It is significant as Minnesota’s first major highway bridge with welded girders. Welding reduced the size and weight of girders, lowered fabrication time and cost, and decreased maintenance requirements compared to a conventional girder design.
In 2017-2018, MnDOT rehabilitated Bridge 9395 to address deterioration of the deck and girders. Rehabilitation work included: deck and bearing replacement, modifications to the girder bracing, new paint on the girders, and refinishing of the concrete abutments. The new deck configuration is asymmetrical, with a 12' walkway for the Gitchi-Gami State Trail on the northwest side. Original two-pipe aluminum railings were salvaged from the original concrete barriers, which did not meet today’s safety standards and were replaced by a crash-tested barrier similar in design to the historic barrier. The aluminum railings were mounted on the new barriers and the original bronze bridge plaques were attached to the new concrete end posts.
City of Beaver Bay (Lake County)
Latitude, Longitude: 47.26021396, -91.29581998