Washington Co. wants old Brown Co. bridge

To replace Lake Elmo park bridge

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Brown County commissioners will consider Washington County’s proposal July 27 to buy and relocate Bridge 2110 over the Minnesota River south of Franklin Tuesday. Washington County plans to move the bridge to the Lake Elmo Park Reserve to replace an existing bridge. The bridge would be used for recreational pedestrian and bicycle travel as part of the park’s 2-mile Bur Oak loop trail.

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners will consider a proposal July 27 by Washington County to purchase Bridge 2110 and relocated it to the Lake Elmo Park Reserve.

The bridge, which connects Brown and Renville counties several miles west of Fort Ridgely State Park, is scheduled to be replaced in 2022. With the bridge’s historic status, it needed to be marketed for sale to someone that would maintain the historical features of the bridge.

With the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Cultural Resources Unit (CRU) and a historian’s technical assistance, a marketing plan was developed and the bridge advertised to meet the Federal Highway Administration’s approval.

Brown County got one proposal by the June 30, 2021 deadline. The MnDOT CRU reviewed Washington county’s proposal and approved it.

In a letter to Brown County Highway Engineer Wayne Stevens, Washington County Deputy Public Works Director/County Engineer Wayne Sandberg wrote that it is Washington County’s intention to relocate the bridge to replace an existing bridge over a water outlet in Lake Elmo Park Reserve. The park is visited by more than 661,000 people a year that use the park’s 30 miles of trails.

The bridge would be used exclusively for recreational pedestrian and bicycle travel on the park’s 2-mile Bur Oak loop trail.

Commissioners will also consider:

• A $12,794.10 proposal from Gemini Research, LLC, Morris, to photograph Bridge 2110 to meet approved Memorandum of Agreement requirements. MnDOT CRU proposed an 80/20 funding split for the cost.

• Installing an egress window in the Brown County Attorney’s Office. Bids received were $3,881.25 from Bergy’s Construction of New Ulm and $4,070 from North Builders, Sleepy Eye. The office now has just one exit out of the basement of the Brown County Probation building.

• The meeting starts at 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 27 in the Brown County Courthouse Commissioner’s Room 204.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nu



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