MnDOT looking for a buyer for the historic bowstring Kern Bridge

MnDOT looking for a buyer for the historic bowstring Kern Bridge

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The historic bowstring Kern Bridge just outside of Mankato was dismantled in February.

Now that the bridge is in storage, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is looking for a buyer.

The 189-foot single-span bowstring arch bridge was built in 1873. It’s the longest bridge of its type in the country and served as a historic site near Mount Kato Ski Area.

America’s longest bowstring arch truss bridge removed near Mankato

New owners will be required to provide a 20% match toward the rehabilitation and re-list the bridge on the National Register of Historic places following completion of the rehab project. 

“The Department of Natural Resources sometimes buy bridges like this, cities sometimes buy bridges like this to connect parks together or to connect recreational uses often and sometimes counties buy it if it’s on a trail system or if it’s on an existing trail that needs a piece of infrastructure there,” explained Historian of Cultural Resources Katie Haun Schuring.

Preliminary estimates of the total cost are around $1.5 million.

Anyone interested in purchasing the bridge can contact District State Aid Engineer Lisa Bigham at (507) 351-2563 or by sending an email to lisa.bigham@state.mn.us or Katie Haun Schuring at (651) 366-3603 or by emailing her at katherine.haun-schuring@state.mn.us.

Final applications are due by Sept. 30.

Visit MnDOT’s website for more information about the bridge, including additional photos, video, background and a Structural Analysis & Bridge Load Rating Report.

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