Historic Bridge in Jackson County for Sale: Any Takers?

Photo taken by Sam and Anna Smith


Last remaining historic bridge in the county up for the taking. Deadline for claims slated for September.

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JACKSON, MN- After sitting idle and out of use for almost three decades, this historic truss bridge is in need of a new home. Bridge Nr. L5245, located over Okabena Creek in Alba Township, three miles east of Brewster and a quarter of a mile south of County Highway 18, is currently up for sale by the Jackson County Public Works (JCPW), a branch of the Jackson County Highway Department.  Between now and 15 September of this year, the JCPW is offering the bridge for only $1.00 to any party wishing to buy, relocate and rehabilitate the structure, but with only one catch: The bridge must be reused as a public crossing, whether it is in a park setting or along the bike trail. The reason behind maintaining the use of the 4 Rs for this bridge is simple.

Since the mid 2000s, the bridge has been deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places because of its rare bridge type. The 45-foot long structure is a three-panel Queenpost pony truss bridge with V-laced endposts and upper chords. The connections are pinned.  According to the State Historical Society, the bridge is the last of its kind in the state, even though three bridges of its type had been built between 1903 and 1910 in Jackson County.

The bridge was built at an unknown location in 1905, at the time when pin-connected truss bridges were being phased out and replaced with truss bridges with riveted connections and later, concrete bridges. A neighboring bridge, Bridge 2628, built 100 years ago, was the first concrete crossing built in the state. That structure is scheduled to be replaced soon.  L5245 was relocated to its present site in 1938 and continued to function as a vehicular crossing until its closure in 1990. Since then, it has been sitting unaltered in what is now a field. Some rehabilitation work on the bridge includes straightening out one of the bent endposts, as well as strengthening the bottom chords and lastly, new decking, in addition to the need for new abutments at the time of its relocation. All of these expenses are minor and can be offset through grants and other financial support.

If you are interested in purchasing the bridge for relocation and reuse, please contact Tim Stahl at the Jackson County Highway Department, using the following contact information below. The deadline is 15 September.

Tim Stahl, PE

Jackson County Public Works,

53053 780th Street, Jackson, MN 56143

Email: tim.stahl@co.jackson.mn.us

This is the last bridge of its kind in Jackson County, since the demolition of Bridge 597 along Okabena Creek in 2009 and the Kilen Woods Bridge in 2004. The need to keep a piece of history in the county is high. This bridge would be the perfect fit for any bike trail. If interested in the structure and are willing to reuse it for public purposes, the bridge is yours.


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