BNSF Old US-12 Bridge

Deck Plate Girder Bridge Over Former Alignment of US-12
Montrose, Wright County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name BNSF Old US-12 Bridge
Built By Great Northern Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 120 Feet Total, 40 Foot Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 7 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1927
Traffic Count 12 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 43.79
In 1867, the First Division of the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad built 15 miles of line between Minneapolis and Wayzata.
By 1868, it was extended another 29 miles to Howard Lake, and 49 more miles to Willmar the following year.
In 1879, this segment of the StP&P was sold to the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway. The StPM&M had a considerable amount of trackage throughout Minnesota.
By 1890, the StPM&M became part of the Great Northern Railway. The collection of railroads dating back to the St. Paul & Pacific were primarily controlled by railroad magnate James J Hill.
Great Northern used this as a main line, with secondary connections to other points.

By 1970, the Great Northern merged with rival Northern Pacific and Chicago Burlington & Quincy to form Burlington Northern Railroad.
BN continued to use this as a mainline, supplementing other busy segments throughout the area.
In 1996, BN merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway to form BNSF Railway, the current owners of this line.
BNSF continues to operate this route with a fair amount of traffic. It is known as the Wayzata Subdivision.

This bridge was an early United States Federal Highway Bridge. It was originally constructed to cross US-12 near Montrose.
Built in 1927, this bridge features three deck girder spans resting on concrete substructures. The bridge was built for single track capabilities, while others along this line were expandable to double tracks.
US-12 was rerouted in this area in 1997, and the bridge has been partially filled and has served no purpose since.
Overall, the bridge appeared to be in good condition in 2013. Truck damage was observed to the bridge, although corrosion was prevented by the use of a concrete ballasted deck.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design. Three other identical structures at Maple Plain, Delano and Cokato were replaced in 2010, 2009 and 1999; respectively. These projects have been a part of a continued effort to increase safety along US-12.
The photo above is an overview of the bridge.


Source Type


Build Date Date Stamp
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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