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Roof of Minnesota’s last covered bridge collapses, city plans repairs

Only the southern peak remains upright after the Zumbrota Covered Bridge roof collapsed Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Courtesy of David Grimsrud

ZUMBROTA, Minn. — Zumbrota with no covered bridge? No way.

That seems to be the sentiment after heavy snow proved too much for the historic Zumbrota Covered Bridge on Saturday, Feb 23. The roof collapsed, according to a social media post by Mayor Bradley Drenckhahn Sunday morning.

“We’re in the process of stabilizing the bridge to prevent any further damage from snow and wind and we’ll be putting together a plan to repair and restore the bridge as we go along here,” City Administrator Neil Jensen said Tuesday between meetings about the bridge. “We’re going to fix it.”

The Zumbrota Covered Bridge Festival is still on for June 15-16. A Covered Bridge 150th birthday party is set for Aug. 3-4.

Those are on the calendar whether the bridge has a new roof by then or not.

The landmark is the last covered bridge in Minnesota. The bridge spans the Zumbro River in southeast Minnesota and is strictly a pedestrian/bicycle bridge today. Motorists can see it from Highway 58.

Constructed in 1869, the bridge initially had no roof. One was added in 1871 and the bridge was enclosed with weatherproof sides, according to www.zumbrotacoveredbridge.com.

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