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North Shore Scenic Railroad Bridge 19A

Krech Ojard designed a replacement railroad bridge and highway realighment for the existing North Shore Scenic Railroad’s bridge 19A near the community of Knife River, Minnesota. The St. Louis and Lake County Regional Railroad Authority provided funding for the replacement.

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Krech Ojard designed a replacement railroad bridge and highway realignment for the existing North Shore Scenic Railroad Bridge 19A near the community of Knife River, Minnesota. Scenic Highway 61 located between Duluth and Two Harbors Minnesota runs parallel to the railroad and crosses under the rail line just south of Knife River. The reversing horizontal curves of the under passing highway required advisory speed limits, and during inclement weather, the bridge’s concrete abutments were struck by vehicles and snowplows alike. Vertical clearance at the bridge was also limited to 13′-8″.

The solution was to replace the bridge and realign the highway. Softening the reverse curves required increasing the skew of the bridge from 42 degrees to 64 degrees. Increasing the vertical clearance under the bridge required lowering the roadway profile. Sight distance through the bridge was also improved by lengthening the bridge to three spans and lengthening the center span to 67 feet.

As this stretch of roadway was on the south end of Knife River, it was requested that the project construct curb and gutter for the length of the project to create a feeling of an urban setting, therefore suggesting slower speeds to the traveling vehicles. With the conversion of a rural roadway to an urban roadway cross section with curb and gutter, the construction of storm sewer became required. Wide paved shoulders will provide refuge to bicyclists, pedestrians, and rollerbladers that frequent this stretch of highway known for its views of Lake Superior.



Survey of existing bridge area and surrounding structures affected by the bridge replacement.

Prepare civil plan identifying the existing bridge, street and all underground and overhead utilities.

Provide geotechnical borings to confirm rock elevations and quality around the bridge for the design of new bridge abutments and piers.

Provide architectural and structural design services for a new 3-span steel bridge with concrete ornamentation, and prepare construction plans and technical specifications.

Assist Regional Rail Authority with the contracts, bidding and contractor selection.

Provide construction management services including construction staking, inspection of work and as-built documentation.

Services Provided: Civil Engineering Architectural Design Structural Design Bridge Design Highway Realignment Construction Management As-built Documentation
St. Louis & Lake County Regional Rail Authority
Knife River, Minnesota
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