Image courtesy Minnesota Department of Transportation

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will start removing a 1920s-era bridge on old Highway 19 between Morton and Redwood Falls starting next Tuesday, Oct. 19.

The bridge, officially called the Sulphur Lake Bridge, was built in 1927 to carry Highway 19/71 across Sulphur Lake in rural Honner Township, in Redwood County. Since September 2010, the bridge has been closed to traffic but continues to carry pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles.

The 169-foot bridge is significant for its association with the Minnesota Highway Department’s bridge building and highway improvement efforts in the 1920s, as well as being a representative example of the Camelback through truss, an unusual type in Minnesota.

Removing the bridge will leave the site in a more natural state and available for recreational use. Old pavements will be removed and most of the old roadway will be covered with topsoil and seeded to restore it to a natural condition. A short section of the old roadway will be converted to a gravel surface, connecting the Sulphur Lake site with the DNR river access parking area to allow easy and safe entry to the area for recreational use. The bridge abutments will be removed down to the ground line, then covered with stone riprap to minimize ground disturbance.

Crews will begin moving equipment to the area beginning October 19. Demolition and riprap placement are expected to take place into December. The project will then be suspended until spring when crews will remove old pavements and restore the area to a natural state.

The project cost is $730,000, and Redstone Construction, LLC, is the contractor. Work is scheduled to be complete by June 15, 2022. Please note that the start and end dates could change due to unforeseeable circumstances.