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Rock Island Swing Bridge
More About the Bridge
The Rock Island Swing Bridge was a double decker bridge first constructed in 1894 and served rail cars on the top and horse and buggy and eventually cars on the lower deck. In 1982 the railroad went bankrupt and the JAR Company began operating the bridge as a toll facility for vehicles until MN-DOT closed the bridge due to structural issues in 1999. 

In November 2008, a portion of the structure collapsed on the Washington County side and Washington and Dakota County’s began demolition the bridge in January 2009.  In March 2009 Governor Pawlenty sign a demolition moratorium that stopped the counties from demolishing the bridge. In October 2009 the City of Inver Grove Heights took ownership of the structure and hired SEH Inc. as engineers to design a 670 foot pier by reusing parts of the original bridge. Today the bridge decks and remaining structure have been refurbished at a cost of $2,300,000.

The City of Inver Grove Heights developed this project to provide visitors with an opportunity to access the Mississippi River.  The city expects that the bridge will draw visitors to the area and help with the city’s efforts to revitalize the Concord Boulevard neighborhood.  The areas connection to the Great River Road and the Mississippi River Regional Trail is found inside the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River Recreation Area and provides multiple reasons for people to come to the area, recreate, shop, and explore the existing and future businesses. 

Operational hours of the bridge follows the current park operating hours for all city parks of 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Saving The Rock Island Swing Bridge

History of the Rock Island Swing Bridge

View a map of the Rock Island Swing Bridge Park features

If you have any questions about the project please contact Eric Carlson, Parks and Recreation Director at (651) 450-2587 or by email.