Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Historic Bridges

Bridge R0552

Bridge R0552

Bridge R0552

See features of the bridge

History & significance

Bridge R0552 is a 701-foot-long, 47-span, timber railroad trestle built in 1901-1902 to carry the Minnesota and International Railway (M&IR) over Coburn Creek and surrounding marsh near the rural community of Blackduck in Beltrami County. The M&IR was incorporated in 1900 as a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific Railway to provide a rail link between the cities of Bemidji and Koochiching (now International Falls). Frank H. O’Brien of the firm of F.H. O’Brien and York built the trestle, which is comprised of 49 timber-pile bents and was the M&IR’s longest structure. The Northern Pacific eventually bought the M&IR, after which it was incorporated into the Burlington Northern, which vacated the line in 1986. It is now a recreational trail and part of one of the longest contiguous railbed conversion trails in the nation. In 2015 more than one-third of the bridge was burned in an arson fire and remains closed and unrepaired as of 2019.

The bridge is significant as a rare and unusually long example of a wood trestle that is a good example of an engineering solution to a complex site condition. It is listed in the National Register.

Location

City of Blackduck (Beltrami County)
Latitude, Longitude: 47.726166, -94.547723

Bridge features

Bridge R0552

View of bridge deck with railroad tracks removed and converted to trail use.

Bridge R0552

View of bridge deck showing the results of the arson fire.