DM&E Fremont Street Bridge

Steel Stringer Bridge Over Fremont Street
Owatonna, Steele County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name DM&E Fremont Street Bridge
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor (South Span) American Bridge Company of New York
Contractor (North Span) Vierling Steel Works of Chicago
Currently Owned By Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad
Length 50 Feet Total
Width 2 Tracks, 1 In Use
Height Above Ground 11 Feet 8 Inches
Superstructure Type Steel Stringer
Superstructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built (South Span) 1939
Date Built (North Span) 1966
Traffic Count 5 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
DM&E Bridge Number M215
Significance Minimal Significance
In 1861, after the financial crisis of 1859, the Winona, St Peter, Missouri River railroad company was awarded the property to build across Minnesota. They laid the track on the graded line, and continued building. The railroad reached Rochester in 1864, and Owatonna in 1866, until they were largely purchased by Chicago & North Western Railway in 1867. The CNW operated the W&StP as a subsidiary, and continued building west in 1871.
C&NW reached Mankato, and built a little north, crossing the Minnesota River at St. Peter, staying north of the River until finally crossing back over at New Ulm. It then went to Tracy, and later Watertown, SD. It reached South Dakota in 1872.
The Chicago & North Western opted for a new route between New Ulm and Mankato. They built it in 1899, using the old route as a backup.
A portion between Burdette (East Mankato) and Kasota was abandoned in 1937, and the remainder between Kasota and just east of New Ulm abandoned in 1954 and 1959. The line east of New Ulm was retained as a spur to a quarry.

By 1986, the C&NW was looking to abandoned this route. A group of Senators stepped in and purchased the line, and named the Dakota Minnesota & Eastern.
After many years of independent and rapidly expanding operations, the DM&E was purchased by the Canadian Pacific in 2008. CP continues to operate the route between Winona and Tracy, with the Waseca to Winona portion known as the Waseca Subdivision.

Located on the east side of Owatonna, this bridge crosses Fremont Street near Grove Avenue.
Originally built in 1894 as a deck girder with stone abutments, the bridge was upgraded over time. The southern track was replaced by a steel stringer in 1939, while the north track was replaced by a similar steel stringer in 1966.
Currently, this bridge has little historical significance due to these alterations. A similar bridge once existed at Oak Avenue, but was replaced in 2016.
Overall, the bridge appears to remain in good condition.

The author has ranked this bridge as being minimally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date (South Span) American Bridge Company plaque
Contractor (South Span) American Bridge Company plaque
Build Date (North Span) Vierling Steel Works plaque
Contractor (North Span) Vierling Steel Works plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

Widget is loading comments...

© Copyright 2010- John Marvig and Contributors. All Rights Reserved