Rock Island Swing Bridge, Inver Grove Heights

4.6
#60 of 76 in Historic Sites in Minnesota
Bridge · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
The Rock Island Swing Bridge was a swing bridge that spanned the Mississippi River between Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, and St. Paul Park, Minnesota. It was also known as the Newport Rail Bridge, as it had a spur to Newport, Minnesota, and J.A.R. bridge, after previous owners Joan and Al Roman of Chicago. It was one of the few double-decker bridges on the Mississippi, with the top level formerly used for railroad traffic and the bottom level formerly used as a road crossing. It also was one of a few toll bridges in Minnesota, and one of the last remaining ones. It closed to rail traffic in 1980, and road traffic in 1999, when the toll was 75 cents. After closing, the bridge sat dormant in the open position for 10 years before being partially demolished in 2009. It was converted into a recreational pier, which was open to the public on June 11, 2011.
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Rock Island Swing Bridge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
11 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Great spot to get some nice views of the river and some fresh air. Re-purposed from the old swinging toll bridge from my childhood. Now its a beautiful place to chill out or take pictures. They have.....  more »
  • great place for the view of the river easy parking and great walking-bike trail has rest rooms and a very nice picnic shelter  more »
Google
  • I liked revisiting a historic bridge that I used to drive across when I was younger and was kind of saddened to see it was only half there. Only one small section in the middle is the original bridge. The part going out to that section was rebuilt in 2010 but it is a nice historic landmark to visit. They maybe could have done a better job of preserving more of the original bridge structure and the railroad tracks that went over the top of the bridge. Perhaps had some photos displayed of the bridge in action including clear back to the horse drawn buggy days but for what it is it's a nice place for a walk in the sunshine.
  • Nice park and trail with some historic objects. This is another product of great trend to convert ancient abandoned infrastructure into public space. Reminds me of High Line Park in NYC. For those who biking there is a bicycle repair kit available next to park restrooms along with bicycle pump. Golden hour before sunset is the best time to come to catch great views.
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