1909 Historic Waterford Bridge

 "where the path from the past and the future meets"
CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC: The 1909 historic Waterford Bridge is currently closed to all traffic.  However, efforts are underway to restore the bridge and some day soon the bridge will return to its 1909 purpose of providing passage (albeit pedestrians & bicycles versus horse & buggy) over the Cannon River.   A gift to future generations.  
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES:  The 1909 Iron Bridge, pictured above, is located in rural Waterford Township about 2 miles northeast of Northfield in south-central Dakota County.     
HISTORIC FEATURES: The bridge consists of a 140 foot, steel, riveted and bolted, Camelback through truss on concrete abutments.  It is one of the earliest extant bridges with rigid connections and is the only known metal through truss bridge in Minnesota featuring a limited number of bolted connections.  
RESTORATION HISTORY:    The Bridge formerly carried Canada Avenue over the Cannon River but was closed to traffic in 2009 following construction of a new bridge and re-alignment of Canada Avenue.  The Bridge has undergone various rehabilitation efforts including repainting of the truss in 1976, replacement of the southwest abutment corner and wing wall in 1983, and the replacement of the southeast abutment corner and wing wall in 2014.  
In December 2017, Waterford Township received a $106,800 grant from the "State of Minnesota from the Arts & Cultural Heritage fund through the Minnesota Historical Society" to engage LHB, a Minnesota based multi-disciplined engineering firm to prepare rehabilitation construction plans for the preservation of the Bridge.  The reports were received in June 2019 detailing the historic background of the Bridge, summarizing its existing condition, defining recommended repairs for preservation and estimated the costs.    See Engineering and Cost Reports in the "News" and/or "About Us - 1909 Historic Bridge" sections of website.    
CURRENT PROJECT:    On December 23, 2019, the Township received a $342,818 grant from the "State of Minnesota from the Arts & Cultural Heritage fund through the Minnesota Historical Society" to begin the restoration of the Bridge.  The grant is posted under "News".  The grant includes the "scope of work" for the $342,818 plus $52,500 in in-kind donations.    
Rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Bridge includes existing concrete abutments, placement of rip rap at the front faces of the abutments and wing walls, replacement of the existing bridge bearings, fabrication of new steel components integrated into the truss, floor system and railing replacement, partial excavation and restoration of approach embankments, and the construction of a new cast-in-place concrete deck with stay-in-place corrugated-metal forming.
ULTIMATE GOAL:  The hopes, dreams and vision for the 1909 Bridge includes the preservation of the historic distinctive architectural engineering structure while providing a scenic trail link between the Mill Towns Trail system and the Dakota County Trail system over the Cannon River.