Dan Patch Line Bridge

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Dan Patch Line Bridge
MNS Swing Bridge.jpg
The swing span as seen from the north (Bloomington) side of the river. The bridge is in its open position.
Coordinates 44°47′25″N 93°21′10″W / 44.79028°N 93.35278°W / 44.79028; -93.35278
Carries One rail crossing; formerly two traffic lanes
Crosses Minnesota River
Locale Bloomington, Minnesota and Savage, Minnesota
ID number N/A
Design Swing bridge
Total length 489 feet[1]
Width 103 feet
Clearance below 20 feet
Opened 1908

The Dan Patch Line Bridge is a railroad swing bridge that carries the Canadian Pacific Railway's MN&S Subdivision across the Minnesota River. The MN&S Subdivision is a rail line that originated as the Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and Dubuque Electric Traction Company, more commonly known as the Dan Patch Lines. Today's name for the rail line comes from the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railroad, which took over the Dan Patch route after the original railroad fell into bankruptcy. However, despite being met by Canadian Pacific rails at either end, the bridge itself is owned by the Twin Cities and Western Railroad which has trackage rights on the CP line to the north. The bridge is not currently used, but the railroad purchased the bridge in order to protect a route they feel may become important in the future.[2]

The bridge was built by Marion W. Savage, owner of the racehorse Dan Patch as part of a railroad extending from Minneapolis to Northfield. A two-lane traffic deck was added to the bridge, but was deemed unsafe in the early 1980s and removed. The road side of the bridge carried CSAH-34[3] (Normandale Road on the north side, and Vernon Road on the south side).

Under the 2010 Minnesota State Rail Plan, the Dan Patch Line Bridge would be replaced with a new one line track bridge that would cost around $34 million.

In 2015, it was reported in the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank online publication [1] that TC&W plans to repair the bridge and to resume direct rail access to the Post Savage terminals along the south banks of Minnesota River.


  1. ^ http://www.johnweeks.com/bridges/pages/mn05.html
  2. ^ "TCWR Freight Rail Realignment Study" (PDF). Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority/TKDA. November 18, 2009. p. 6. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ http://en.structurae.de/structures/data/index.cfm?ID=s0029696