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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dump Road Bridge

Historic Name: Dump Road Bridge
Mn/DOT Bridge Number: Bridge No. L-2733
Bridge Type: Pratt through truss
County: Rice
City/Township: Walcott Twp.
Crossing: Twp. Rd. 45 over Straight River
Contractor: A.Y. Bayne and Company, Minneapolis
Year Built: 1904
Overall Length: 134.2 feet
Overall Width: 16.2 feet

Adapted from the National Register of Historic Places nomination form prepared by Fredric Quivik and Dale Martin, Renewable Technologies, Inc. The Dump Road Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Summary of Historic Significance

The Dump Road Bridge is historically significant as an excellent example of a pin-connected Pratt through truss resting on a substructure of paired concrete-filled tubular steel piers. The truss and substructure types were common around the turn-of-the-century. The bridge is also significant for its association with bridge builder, A.Y. Bayne, an important Minnesota bridge contractor. Bayne began his long career in Minnesota as an agent for other bridge firms, and in 1903 formed his own enterprise, A.Y. Bayne & Company. This bridge is one of the earliest survivors of Bayne's long career as an independent bridge builder. It is also significance in local history. The bridge is an example of an unexpected effect of railroad construction on a township, in particular its road network, as grading for the rail line altered the channel of the Straight River. Although the abutments may be relatively new, the integrity of the bridge remains good.

As Minnesota's population grew in the second half of the 19th century, a system of transportation evolved which featured railroad lines and a web a local roads leading from rural areas to shipping points along the railroads. These roads needed bridges over rivers and streams to insure year-round travel. The first bridges in Minnesota were constructed of wood, but in the late 1860s and early 1870s, local governments in the state began to build wrought iron bridges because of long-term cost advantages. After early experimentation with a variety of structural configurations, the pin-connected Pratt truss became the most widely used type of wrought iron bridge. By the early 1890s, steel had supplanted wrought iron as the structural material of choice, but the pin-connected Pratt remained the most widely used configuration into the 20th century.

Built in 1904 for Walcott Township by A.Y. Bayne and Company of Minneapolis, the Dump Road Bridge was erected to replace a ford for the township road which had been located about one quarter mile to the south. Shortly after the Burlington Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroad (part of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad system) built its line to Faribault along the Straight River, the township board met with the railroad's engineer asking that the water at the ford be lowered. Construction of the roadbed for the tracks along the river had evidently raised the water level at the ford. Later, the township board claimed damages against the railroad for interference with the ford and in a 1903 settlement, the B.C.R.& N.R.R. paid Walcott Township $2,000. Prior to construction of the bridge, the township board established a new right-of-way for the township road along the east side of the river to reach the bridge location. Next, the voters of Walcott Township approved the sale of bonds worth $1,400 to pay the additional cost of a new bridge, the $2,000 from the railroad would also be applied to construction of the bridge. In March, 1904, the township board approved payment to A.Y. Bayne for construction of the bridge.

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