It sounds like a punchline: If you believe that, we've got a bridge to sell you.

Except in this case, they'll give it to you. But it's only half a bridge. And you have to haul it away.

With plans afoot to replace the historic bridge over the Rainy River between Baudette, Minn., and Canada, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is offering its half of the existing structure for free.

The steel bridge, completed in 1960, is a rare example of Pennsylvania through-truss construction. It contains six spans and totals 1,285 feet in length. MnDOT will entertain proposals for one, two or all three of its spans. The other three belong to Canada.

Before you start thinking it would look nice at your cabin, there's a reality check.

The recipient must bear all costs of removal and agree to a list of conditions, including approval by MnDOT of what you're going to do with it.

Proposals are due by Nov. 20. For more information, visit

John Reinan