Historic Bridges in Minnesota
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Bridge 12 in Goodhue County.

Bridge 12 on Township Road 43 over Bullard Creek


Bridge number: 12

Year built: 1908

Engineer: Loweth & Wolff, St. Paul

Contractor: William P. Glardon, Red Wing

Overall length: 63.0 feet

Overall width: 16.0 feet


Adapted from the National Register of Historic Places nomination form prepared by Dale Martin, Renewable Technologies, Inc. The Bullard Creek Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.




The Bullard Creek Bridge is a steel, single-span, riveted Warren pony truss with verticals. The bridge carries Township Road 43 over Bullard Creek. Its overall length is 63 feet and its overall width is 16 feet. All parts of the bridge’s superstructure, upper and lower chords, verticals and diagonals, consist of paired angle sections riveted together. The floor system, above the lower chord, is connected to the superstructure with floor beams riveted, via angle sections, to gusset plates on the low ends of the verticals. The floor consists of concrete slabs on I-beam stringers, which rest on angle lugs riveted to the webs of plate girder floor beams. The bridge rests on a substructure of poured concrete abutments with wing walls. The movable end is not visible. The bridge retains good integrity.



Historic significance

The Bullard Creek Bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as a representative example of a Warren pony truss. The pony truss was commonly used to span narrow obstacles in the early 20th century. With its chord and web components all consisting of paired angle sections riveted together, it reflects a design recommended in The Design of Highway Bridges, an engineering text published in the same year as its construction. The bridge is also significant as a surviving example of a bridge from the end of the first decade of the 20th century when the state government first attempted standardization of the design and building of bridges. State involvement in bridge building at this time was through financial aid rather than legislation. The bridge is also a product of the combined efforts of a prominent consulting engineer, Loweth & Wolff of St. Paul, Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company, a large iron and steel fabrication firm in Minneapolis, and William P. Glardon, a Red Wing businessman with diverse activities.


After deciding in late 1907 to have a new bridge erected at this spot, the Goodhue County Commissioners opened bids on January 8, 1908. Most of the bids were for steel spans, but a few proposals were for concrete bridges. The commissioners rejected all the bids. Four months later, Louis P. Wolff, a civil engineer from St. Paul and a partner in the firm of Loweth & Wolff, spoke at a commissioners' meeting, presenting a plan for a steel and concrete bridge complying with Minnesota Highway Commission rules and regulations. If such a bridge were built, the state would allow one-third of its road and bridge appropriations to Goodhue County to be spent on this bridge. The commissioners approved of this idea and voted to pay Wolff $100 for plans and blueprints. The county requested new bids for the bridge's construction and in mid-June selected William P. Glardon, who owned a draying and transfer business as well as a coal and lumber dealership in Red Wing, as contractor. He in turn selected the Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company as fabricator. At the commissioners' meeting of October 22, 1908, L. P. Wolff testified that the bridge was satisfactorily completed.