Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

May 15, 2018

MnDOT needs $13 million to repair historic Stone Arch Bridge

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued the following statement to clarify recent media reports about a funding request for the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, which is now under consideration by the Minnesota Legislature. 

“We need an estimated $13 million to repair and restore the Stone Arch Bridge,” said Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “Built in the 1880s, the bridge is a historic structure that needs ongoing attention to ensure it stays in good working order. This funding request will help pay for the work to monitor it as well as provide some long-term significant restoration to ensure the bridge’s longevity.”

Zelle said that if there is no legislative funding for the bridge this session, MnDOT may need to close the structure because the agency will not have adequate funds to continue to inspect and maintain the structure. 

“If this bridge were on the trunk highway system, we would have been able to prioritize its repair and rehabilitation before now,” he said. 

The bridge, which undergoes annual inspections, was last inspected in August 2017.

“MnDOT needs an estimated $1 million for the inspection, design and plan preparations for the bridge, but this is only the first step to fix the bridge’s issues. It doesn’t address the underlying issue of the deterioration of the mortar above and below the water level,” Zelle said. “The longer we wait, we risk continued deterioration and significantly more expensive repairs. The time to act is now.”

The James J. Hill Stone Arch Bridge was built between 1881 and 1883 to carry the Minneapolis Union Railroad over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Today it serves as a pedestrian trail. The bridge is located within the St. Anthony Falls Historic District and is designated a National Historic Engineering Landmark. For more information, visit http://mndot.gov/historicbridges/27004.html.