Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Historic Bridges

Sorlie Memorial Bridge (Bridge 4700)

Sorlie Memorial Bridge (Bridge 4700)

Sorlie Memorial Bridge
See features of the bridge

History & significance

The Sorlie Memorial Bridge was built in 1929 and carries U.S. Highway 2B over the Red River of the North between East Grand Forks in Polk County, Minnesota, and Grand Forks, North Dakota. It was a joint project of both states and was named as a memorial to North Dakota Governor Arthur Gustav Sorlie. Each of the two main spans is a steel, riveted, Parker through truss. At 283 feet long, the spans are the longest riveted Parker through truss spans in the state. To accommodate the unstable condition of the river banks, the structure design incorporates very large roller bearings that originally allowed the abutments to slide beneath the superstructure (up to 10 feet) without damaging the bridge. When built, the bridge had additional importance as the only vehicular river crossing in the immediate area, and as the route of transcontinental U.S. Highway 2.

The bridge is significant as an early, important crossing of the Red River at a major urban center, as well as serving as an important river crossing on a major transcontinental highway route. The bridge is also significant as a structure of exceptional engineering design built to meet unusual site conditions.


City of East Grand Forks (Polk County)
Latitude, Longitude: 47.92698348, -97.02838111

Bridge features

Sorlie Memorial Bridge

Longest riveted Parker through spans in the state.

Sorlie Memorial Bridge
Ornamental bridge railings and memorial plaque.
Sorlie Memorial Bridge

Engineering design to meet site conditions,
including large roller bearings, telescoping
joints, and accordion expansion panels.