Amboy bridge

The Dodd Ford Bridge in Amboy is included on the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s list of 10 most endangered historic places.

File photo
The Free Press

A historic bridge in Amboy, which has been closed to traffic for about a year, has joined a county courthouse, Minnesota’s oldest Dairy Queen and a concourse overlooking one of Minnesota’s largest lakes on a list of the state’s most endangered historic places.

The Dodd Ford Bridge in Amboy is believed to be one of only a few remaining camelback truss bridges in the state. It was built in 1901 and has been threatened with replacement since 1970s. Its use had declined in the 1940s and 1950s after a new Highway 30 bridge was built a few miles north to accommodate heavier traffic.

The bridge was included on the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s list of 10 most endangered historic places, which was released Thursday. The list has been compiled for the past 17 years through a nomination process. A jury, including representatives from the Minnesota Historical Society and Society of Architectural Historians, selected this year’s list in February.

“The Dodd Ford Bridge Preservation society has submitted a rehabilitation proposal to the Blue Earth County Board of Commissioners, and has attracted financial and technical support to reopen the historical bridge,” the Preservation Alliance said in a news release. “However, without permission by the county board to pursue rehabilitation plans, the residents of Amboy risk losing a structure that has been integral to their livelihood and lifestyle for more than a century.”

The Amboy Area Community submitted a $175,000 grant request to the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which is funded through the state’s sales tax. The request required approval by the Blue Earth County Board, which was initially denied in April.

Earlier this month, the board approved a request of $100,000 for the bridge after the grant proposal was modified to ban vehicles from using the bridge. During the April meeting, County Administrator Dennis McCoy used pictures of similar bridges that had collapsed in other parts of the nation.

The initial grant request said light vehicles would be allowed to cross the bridge. County commissioners were concerned drivers of heavier vehicles would ignore the restrictions.

The Preservation Alliance’s list also includes the Todd County Courthouse in Long Prairie, the Dairy Queen in Roseville and the Garrison Concourse overlooking Lake Mille Lacs.

The remaining historical places included on this year’s list are the Bessesen Building in Albert Lea, the Wesley United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, the Great Northern Railway Depot in Princeton, the Jackson County Resource Center in Jackson, the Samuel J. Hewson House in Minneapolis and a neighborhood in southeast St. Cloud that is threatened by a city redevelopment plan.

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