New International Bridge linking Baudette and Rainy River now open for restricted travel
Bemidji, Minn. – MnDOT, in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has completed the replacement of the Baudette/Rainy River International Bridge on Hwy 72 in the City of Baudette, Minn. and Hwy 11 in the Town of Rainy River, Ontario.
The construction began in 2018 to create a safer and longer lasting bridge as well as a safer walkway for pedestrians and shoulders for bicyclists. The contractor for the $39.3 million project is Lunda Construction Co. For more information and project photos, visit the website at www.mndot.gov/d2/projects/baudette-bridge.
The old bridge is a 1,283-ft., six-span steel truss bridge over the Rainy River, consisting of one lane in each direction with a 5.9-ft.-wide sidewalk. It was built in 1959 by Barnett-McQueen Ltd. and links Baudette, Minn. (Highway 72), and Rainy River, Ontario (Highway 11). The new 1,350-ft., five-span continuous haunched steel I-girder bridge has one-lane in each direction and a six foot sidewalk on one side.
“It is the only border crossing for 50 miles in either direction,” said Joe McKinnon, MnDOT Project Manager.
“This portion of the Rainy River is approximately 1,200 feet wide. It is also a popular fishing spot year-round. Construction has been limited during sturgeon spawning times, and provisions were made during construction to allow for fishing boat traffic safety.”
MnDOT partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to collaborate on the project from design to construction.