The Minnesota Department of Transportation is now soliciting offers for the sale of one of the oldest bridges in Minnesota.
MnDOT has announced it's accepting letters of interest until Aug. 31 from city, county, and state agencies that wish to buy the Kern Bridge, which previously crossed the Le Sueur River southwest of Mankato.
Having been built in 1873, the 189-foot single-span bowstring arch bridge is one of the oldest in Minnesota, and is particularly rare as it's made from wrought iron.
It's the only bow-string arch bridge in the state and the longest of its type in the country.
It has now been saved by MnDOT and Blue Earth County, which dismantled it and loaded it into sealed containers.
What it's now looking for is a buyer to place it somewhere else in the state, with MnDOT's historian Katie Haun Schuring saying it would make an "attractive addition to a bike and pedestrian trail."
Whoever buys it will be required to provide a 20 percent match towards the rehabilitation of the bridge, and relist the bridge on the National Register of Historic Places after it's been rehabbed.
Federal funds will cover the remaining 80 percent of the rehabilitation, which is expected to cost $1.5 million.