Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

John Ireland Boulevard bridge

St. Paul

Design and historical considerations

The John Ireland Blvd. bridge is within the boundaries of an area overseen by the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board (CAAPB), a 12-member board authorized in state law with jurisdiction over design decisions in the historic district near the state Capitol. The board is chaired by the lieutenant governor.

As such, the replacement bridge must look like the style of other architecture in the Capitol area while preserving architectural features like the John Ireland Blvd. Gatehouses. We are committed to designing a new bridge that complements and preserves the community’s vision for the historic district.

In 2023, we will gather feedback on design concepts for the bridge to determine a final layout, which will include several options for bike and pedestrian facilities on the bridge.

We will also complete accessibility improvements at the John Ireland Blvd. and Rice St. intersection. MnDOT will consult directly with the CAAPB and the City of Saint Paul as part of this project. 

Other design considerations

  • Safety
  • Long-term maintenance
  • Preservation of historic and cultural aspects of the bridge
  • City of Saint Paul 2040 Comprehensive Plan
  • City of Saint Paul bike plan

Section 106 review process

The John Ireland Blvd. bridge project is being reviewed under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) by the MnDOT’s Cultural Resources Unit. Section 106 requires federal agencies or agencies using federal funding to assess the effects that federally funded projects have on historic properties. Section 106 Review includes:      

  • Delineation of a Project’s Area of Potential Effects (APE)
  • Public outreach and engagement
  • Consultation with consulting parties
  • Identifying historic properties that are listed in or eligible for the National Register within the project APE
  • Assessment of effects

For more information on the Section 106 process visit the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s website.