This is War Memorial Bridge, sometimes known as Climax Bridge due to its proximity to Climax, Minnesota. The bridge’s official designation is MNDot Bridge #7097. War Memorial Bridge spans the Red River on Minnesota’s western border, between Polk County, Minnesota, and Traill County, North Dakota.
War Memorial Bridge was built in 1957 and it is considered a significant historical bridge by the state of Minnesota, due in part to its unique construction. As described by MNDOT’s historic bridges page:
The bridge was designed to accommodate shifting Red River of the North soils through previously established engineering techniques such as the use of long approach spans, rocker bents, long finger expansion joints, and swivel hinges. It is significant for its truss design and exemplifying the cooperation between North Dakota and Minnesota highway departments to improve connections between the two states.
Read MNDOT’s PDF report on War Memorial Bridge.
I decided to photograph this bridge along with several others for a potential future book about bridges. These steel truss bridges are disappearing all the time, to be replaced with highly-functional but comparatively boring modern highway bridges. Another bridge just a few miles to the south, Nielsville Bridge, built in 1939, is a good example. It is closed due to its deteriorating condition, but a grant for a new bridge was denied in 2016, leaving its fate undetermined. I think it’s best to photograph these places before they’re gone.
Above: Looking over the Red River of the North from the roadway.
Above: War Memorial Bridge is directly west of Climax, Minnesota, or about 15 minutes southwest of Crookston. What do you know about War Memorial Bridge? Please leave a comment.
Photos by Troy Larson, copyright © 2017 Sonic Tremor Media