Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Historic Bridges

Beaver Bay Bridge (Bridge 9395)

Beaver Bay Bridge (Bridge 9395)

Beaver Bay Bridge (Bridge 9395)
See features of the bridge. (Click on image to enlarge)

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.

Rehabilitation activities

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.

Location

City of Beaver Bay (Lake County)
Latitude, Longitude: 47.26021396, -91.29581998

Bridge features

Beaver Bay Bridge (Bridge 9395)

Minnesota's first major highway bridge with welded girders represents an innovative construction technique. (Click on image to enlarge)

Beaver Bay Bridge (Bridge 9395)

Two-pipe aluminum railings, characteristic of 1950s bridge design, were salvaged from the original concrete barrier and reinstalled on a new concrete barrier meeting modern safety standards. (Click on image to enlarge)