Skip to main content

City of Mankato chosen as new owner of historic bridge

The Kern Bridge crossed the Le Seur River from 1873 to 2020.
Kern Bridge

The city of Mankato has been selected as the new owner of the historic Kern Bridge in Blue Earth County.

After soliciting buyers last summer, a steering committee chose Mankato as the new owner of one of the oldest bridges in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

The Kern Bridge had crossed the Le Seur River from 1873 to 2020, but the city of Mankato will now be in charge of rehabilitating and relocating the historic bridge. The city is responsible for 20% of the project's funding, while 80% will come from federal money.

The bridge is the only bow-string arch bridge in the state and the longest of its type in the country. Last winter, it was dismantled and stored in a sealed container.

Mankato’s plan is to place the bridge five miles downstream over the Blue Earth River. The bridge will connect Land of Memories Park to Sibley Park, which will help the area meet its local and regional trail plans.

The city of Mankato beat out Fergus Falls, Sherburne County and Watonwan County for ownership of the bridge.

According to MnDOT, Mankato’s plan for the bridge will put it in a setting similar to the original site. The location also allows the bridge’s arch to be visible, an important consideration for the department.

“All the applicants certainly worked hard and presented proposals that would have provided a good home to this important piece of Minnesota’s transportation heritage," said historian Katie Haun Schuring, who served on the bridge’s steering committee, in a statement. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 4.04.09 PM

Armed robbery suspect sought in two south metro investigations

The incidents took place at credit unions in Savage and Apple Valley.


Former Twin Cities plastic surgeon charged with sex crimes

Christopher Kovanda is accused of inappropriately touching woman under the guise of providing medical care.

Screen Shot 2022-11-15 at 4.23.26 PM

Minnesota man accused of murder in Chicago is arrested in Alabama

A 26-year-old man from a small town on the Iowa border is accused of murdering a Greyhound bus employee.


Support for Shakopee Public Schools employee diagnosed with cancer

The media specialist has been transitioned to hospice care recently.


Big November snowstorms uncommon in MN, but snowfall is increasing

This week's 8.4 inches at MSP Airport was one of the biggest November storms in the Twin Cities since 1991.


Minnesota nurses take vote on whether to hold second strike

The results will be determined Wednesday night.

unsplash medical marijuana

OCD, irritable bowel syndrome added to MN's medical marijuana list

They are the two latest qualifying medical conditions for Minnesota's marijuana program.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 9.27.45 AM

Fundraiser created for family-owned Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine after shooting

Support from the community will go towards medical expenses and overhead costs for the restaurant.

Erica Shameka Roberts

Police: Minnesota murder suspect arrested in Texas

Erica Roberts has been on the run since March.


Jackknifed semis close I-35 northbound near Faribault

There are icy conditions across Minnesota

court room

Red Lake man gets 12 years for murder of his cousin

Charges state the man beat the victim with a metal cabinet and its drawers.


Kern Bridge

Who wants to buy a 147-year-old Minnesota bridge?

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is soliciting interest from potential buyers.


Baby on life support, Mankato mother charged with felony assault

The 16-month-old suffered grave injuries that have been deemed non-accidental.

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 10.25.42 PM

Trucker collapses historic bridge, causing up to $1M damage

The truck was significantly over the bridge's weight limit.


Minneapolis' 3rd Avenue bridge to close for almost 2 years

Beginning Jan. 4, the bridge will be closed for a two-year restoration project

old sartell bridge

Sartell wants to reopen historic bridge over the Mississippi to pedestrians, bikers

If it gets approved, the bridge could be open to pedestrians as soon as next year.

Screen Shot 2021-11-07 at 9.03.50 AM

Charges: 2-month-old baby dies following assault by Mankato father

Kristopher Dale Arlando Henderson, 39, assaulted his daughter in September, according to charges.