Aged and Rusting: War Memorial Bridge

Aged and Rusting: War Memorial Bridge

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

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.

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.

War Memorial Bridge

War Memorial Bridge

Above: Looking over the Red River of the North from the roadway.

War Memorial Bridge
Image / Google Earth

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

5 thoughts on “Aged and Rusting: War Memorial Bridge

  1. I have many good memories of this bridge by climax. As a Boyscouts my friends and I did a lot of camping around here. We also did a lot of snowmobile trips under this bridgeas well as deer hunting. But my most favorite memories was getting married to the love of my life here on this bridge 27 years ago this week.

  2. There’s another dandy bridge a 1/2 mile east and a mile south of Shelly. The boy’s at Judy’s Café could share some good memories of that one!

  3. someone hauling a big cultivator to Biliske’s Auction at Buxton hit the bridge and got the cultivator stuck in the overhead beams. It took 2 days for a welder to cut it
    out of the girders. It didn’t fetch any money at auction.
    in the 1860s Jim Hill’s steam boats used to chug the Red River, leaving freight and pickup up fuel/wood at Frog Point. When I cross the bridge I always look for the ghost of Jim Hill’s steamers on the Red.
    If you cross the bridge on a BIKE make sure you don’t get your wheel stuck in the EXPANSION JOINTS, which
    are just about exactly the size of your bike tire!

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