Carver Main Street Bridge

Preserved Girder Bridge over Main Street
Carver, Carver County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Carver Main Street Bridge
Built By Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By City of Carver
Length 96 Feet Total, 35 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track, 2 Trail Lanes
Height Above Ground 12 Feet
Superstructure Type Steel Girder and Wooden Trestle
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Timber Pile
Date Built 1926, using 1871 Piers
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Preserved)
Current Status Preserved in Place
M&StL Bridge Number 22
Significance Moderate Significance
A brief history of the Minneapolis & St. Louis mainline from Minneapolis to Mason City:


The sole remaining railroad bridge in the river town of Carver crosses Main Street.
Originally built in 1871, the bridge was connected to the Carver Railroad Bridge by means of trestle spans on the south end.
When built in 1871, the bridge looked very similar to how it does now. A simple I-Beam bridge was set onto stone piers. This beam was again replaced in 1889 by another beam span.

Historic Photo
1910 photo of the previous bridge, courtesy of Carver on the Minnesota.

In 1926, the older I-Beam was upgraded with a new I-Beam structure. This was set onto the original 1871 piers, and approached by wooden trestle spans.
With little change, much of the south approach was put under an earthen dike in the 1990s. However, it was still connected to the main bridge until the removal of the main bridge.
In 2011, this bridge was faced with demolition. While the river bridge was contracted for removal for understandable reasons, this landmark structure was also contracted for demolition, for less understandable reasons.
However, the author teamed with a gentleman from Carver to convince the City of Carver to take ownership of the landmark bridge.
In a 4-1 vote, the city council voted to acquire the bridge for future preservation. The structure is important to the town, mainly because of the "gate" feeling it has had to the park behind it.
That park originally served as the first location of the Carver County Fair, and is a popular place to camp currently.
Since 2011, the bridge has stood unchanged, although stenciling has been added to the bridge saying "Riverside Park" on one side. The deck of the bridge was fenced off, and its apparent that the bridge may never be reused for trail use.
However, the author agrees with this decision. Keeping the bridge in original condition is important for a landmark in the small town of Carver.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the common design but lack of historic bridges in the region.
Being built in 1926 wouldn't make a bridge like this notable in most counties, however Carver County has very few historic bridges. This structure, and a 1913 overpass in Chaska are the oldest structures in the county.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can easily be accessed from the road below.


Source Type


Build Date American Bridge Company plaque
Contractor American Bridge Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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