Mankato selected as owner of historic Kern Bridge

The city of Mankato is the new owner of the historic Kern Bridge.

Mankato will place the bow-string arch bridge less than five miles downstream from its original site over the Blue Earth River, where it will connect Land of Memories Park to Sibley Park.  The placement will bridge a gap in the Minnesota River State Trail Master Plan, as well as other local and regional trail plans.

Mankato competed against Fergus Falls, Sherburn County, and Watonwan County for ownership of the 148-year-old bridge.

When installed at its new location, the bridge will be seen from the north via a scenic overlook, and from Highway 60/169 from the south.

The Kern Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in Minnesota.  It’s made from a rare type of wrought iron, which is rare in itself.  It is the only bow-string arch bridge in Minnesota, and is the longest of its type in the nation at 189 feet.

The bridge was removed, dismantled, and loaded into sealed containers last winter.


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