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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Minneapolis in Hennepin County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Stone Arch Bridge

 
 
Stone Arch Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, August 20, 2007
1. Stone Arch Bridge Marker
(marker photo caption)
Northwestern Miller-Holiday Issue (1884-1885) looking northwest.
Inscription.
"This viaduct...is the only one of its kind that spans the Father of Waters, and is one of the largest and most noteworthy in the United States. Firmer than the earth which supports it, it is constructed to stand the test of time."

—Daily Minnesota Tribune, November 23, 1883


St. Anthony Falls Historic District, National Historic Register of Historic Places, 1971 National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, 1975


Construction 1882-1883
The Stone Arch Bridge was constructed as a railroad bridge by
James J. Hill and the Minneapolis Union Railway Company.

Designed by Colonel Charles C. Smith, the bridge cut diagonally
across the Mississippi River with a 6 curve at the west end.
It was 2,100 feet long, 76 feet high, with 23 arches.

The bridge was built of 100,000 tons of stone, granite from Sauk Rapids,
Minnesota, and limestone quarried from nearby Mississippi River bluffs and
from Mankate, Minnesota; Stone City, Iowa; and Bridgeport, Wisconsin.

Construction took twenty-two months,
from January 16, 1882 to November 22, 1883.

600 men worked day and night, winter and summer.

Heavy labor was provided by men and by horses harnessed to windlasses.

Steam-powered pumps removed
Nearby Sign image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, August 20, 2007
2. Nearby Sign
Mill Ruins Park
The Stone Arch Bridge is in the background.
water during construction of pier foundations.

Trains provided the means to haul the stone from distant quarries.

Three men lost their lives.

1907-1910
Arches were reinforced, crown to crown, to carry heavier loads.

1925
Tracks were widened and parapet walls cut back to accommodate the increased size of trains.

1948
82 passenger trains crossed daily in the heyday of the bridge.

1961-1963
St. Anthony Falls Upper Lock, constructed by the U. S. Army Corps
of Engineers, required removal of arches 13 and 14 and Pier 14
and installation of a 200-foot Warren truss.

1965
Record-breaking spring floods caused major damage to pier 7
and arches 6 and 7. Repairs were made by the owner of the owner of the bridge,
the Great Northern Railway Company.

1978
The last passenger train crossed the bridge.

1989
Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority
purchased the bridge.

1992
Ownership was transferred to the Minnesota
Department of Transportation.

Renovation 1993-1994

The Stone Arch Bridge was rehabilitated
to become a pedestrian and bicycle trail, a key link in the
St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail and other riverfront trail
6 Curve at West End of Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, August 20, 2007
3. 6 Curve at West End of Bridge
systems.

Project of the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board and
the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Owner:
Minnesota Department of Transportation

Contractor:
Johnson Bros. Corporation
Litchfield, Minnesota

Partners:
Conceived, designed, and implemented by
partners in cooperation:

St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board:
State of Minnesota
Minnesota Historical Society
Mayor, City of Minneapolis
Minneapolis City Council
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission
Hennepin County Board of Commissioners
Hennepin History Meusem
State Historic Preservation Office


Minnesota Department of Transportation

A. G. Lichtenstein & Associates, Inc, Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Johnson Bros. Corporation, Litchfield, Minnesota

Operation:
Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board

Funding:
Federal: Transporation Enhancement Program,
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency
Act of 1901, (ISTEA)

Local: St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board,
combining funds of the State of Minnesota,
the City of Minneapolis, and the
Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board.

 
Marker series.
View of Mississippi River from Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, August 20, 2007
4. View of Mississippi River from Bridge
Lights in the distance were placed at the site of the eight-lane I-35W bridge that collapsed on August 1, 2007.
This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 44° 58.852′ N, 93° 15.524′ W. Marker is in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in Hennepin County. Marker can be reached from West River Parkway west of Portland Avenue South. Click for map. Marker is at the west end of the Stone Arch Bridge. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Portland Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic Milling District (within shouting distance of this marker); New Uses for Old Mills (within shouting distance of this marker); The Washburn and Pillsbury Clans (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Beneath the Surface (about 700 feet away); The West Side Milling District (about 800 feet away); The Barrel-Makers' Co-ops (approx. 0.2 miles away); Changing the Shape of the Falls (approx. 0.2 miles away); William de la Barre (approx. mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Minneapolis.
 
Also see . . .
1. Stone Arch Bridge. Minneapolis Riverfront District Web site. (Submitted on January 31, 2010.) 

2. Stone Arch Bridge (Minneapolis). Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on January 31, 2010.) 

3. I-35W Mississippi River Bridge. Wikipedia entry about the bridge that collapsed in 2007. (Submitted on January 31, 2010.)
View of Lock from Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, August 20, 2007
5. View of Lock from Bridge
 
 
Additional keywords. St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba Railway bridge
 
Categories. Bridges & Viaducts
 
Nearby Collapsed Interstate Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, August 20, 2007
6. Nearby Collapsed Interstate Bridge
1964–2007
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,473 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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