MN Mondays - Bridges of Hastings
Happy Monday, everyone!
Today I'll start a series called Minnesota Mondays, where I highlight some of the fantastic histories about our state.
In honor of our Miss Hastings Scholarship Program Spiral Bridge Builder sponsors - Mary Kelly Photography, Valley Chevrolet, Hastings Country Inn, and Fundamental Media - I want to kick off this series with some fun facts about the Hastings Spiral Bridge!
The Spiral Bridge, completed in 1895, was originally built as a wagon bridge. The "spiral" ramp on the south end of the bridge ensured the bridge span would be high enough to allow room for the river traffic underneath, yet also not too steep for horses to travel down or extending too far into the main commercial area on 2nd street. The Spiral Bridge was famous around the world, thanks to its unique design!
The historic Spiral Bridge was the original structure to carry U.S. Highway 61 over the Mississippi River at Hastings. It served the citizens of Hastings and the surrounding region for 56 years until 1951. That's when a continuous steel through truss bridge high bridge, now known as "Big Blue" by locals, took its place. Inspections of it in 2007 revealed the necessity to replace Big Blue with a new high bridge capable of handling average daily traffic of 30,000 vehicles.
In November 2013, the current Hastings High Bridge opened with four lanes of traffic and an anti-icing system for cold-weather safety. Thank you to deadpioneer.com for the extra information about the Hastings Spiral Bridge!