Once a symbol of a flourishing city is no longer, yet, its memory and importance still prevails. Built in 1895 originally as a wagon bridge, the Spiral Bridge of Hastings, Minnesota was constructed in such a way to end in the downtown business district, rather than bypass it per request of the local residents. A spiral design was chosen due to engineering restraints. As such, in order to cross the bridge spanning the Mississippi River, drivers would have
to make one complete circle on the spiral on the south approach. However, this fascinating structure could not withstand the onslaught of time as it fell into disrepair. It disconcertingly swayed in the wind while rust covered the bridge, weakening its infrastructure. At one point, the bridge could no longer support a load greater than four tons. As a result, students were forced to disembark from school buses and walk across to be picked up on the other side while Hastings fire trucks could no longer service the other side in Denmark Township. This served as the last nail in the coffin of the ongoing denial of the bridge’s viability. Eventually, the Spiral Bridge was demolished in 1951 to be replaced by the Hastings High Bridge. Now, although remnants of both the north and south approaches of the original bridge have survived, a new bridge stands in its place.
By Daniella Fodera