History & significance
Bridge L5853 is a three-span, open-spandrel, reinforced concrete, barrel-arch bridge that spans an abandoned, east-west, street railway right-of-way located in Como Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota. The bridge was designed and constructed by the William S. Hewett & Company of Minneapolis in 1904 along with Bridge 92247. It features Classical Revival-inspired architectural details, and is significant as one of the oldest documented extant reinforced-concrete arch bridge in the state. It is also significant for utilizing the patented Melan concrete reinforcing system and as the work of noted Minneapolis bridge builder, William S. Hewett.
After decades of being closed due to the lack of railings above and falling concrete below, the City of St. Paul received federal funding to restore the Como Park Street Car Pedestrian bridge and reopen the trail below. The extensive rehabilitation project included removing unsound concrete, reforming new concrete to restore the shape and details of the original bridge, placement of a waterproof membrane below the deck to protect the arch from water damage, installation of a new deck that recreates the scoring pattern of the original deck, and custom-made decorative railing to match the originals. The restored bridge now provides a safe and sound pedestrian crossing above and trail amenity below, and restores one of the icon, early 20th century features of Como Park.
City of Saint Paul (Ramsey County)
Latitude, Longitude: 44.978453, -93.146137