Honoring the 8 Bridges of St. Paul

Our name, 8 Bridges Workshop, pays homage to the eight bridges that cross the Mississippi in St. Paul. Ranging from over 100 years old to newly constructed, the bridges traverse the river as it snakes through the city and ensure routes for Minnesotans doing business on both sides of the Mississippi.

To honor our namesake bridges, we are partnering with amateur photographer and prolific Instagrammer Waqar Ahmad to capture the eight bridges of St. Paul. Throughout the year, we will be highlighting his photos of the bridges on our website and sharing via social media. In the meantime, check out his work on Instagram: Waq on the Wild Side.

The eight bridges as you head downstream:

  1. The Marshall Bridge, which connects Minneapolis’s Lake Street with St. Paul’s Marshall Avenue, was built as a wrought iron structure in 1889. Rebuilt in 1992, it currently has the largest clear span of any bridge in St. Paul.

  2. The Ford Bridge, also known as the Intercity Bridge, was constructed in 1927 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was rehabbed in 2004.

  3. The Fort Road Bridge was constructed in 1961 and rehabbed in 1986. The original bridge in this location was a wooden wagon bridge built in 1880.

  4. The original Lexington Bridge was built in 1965 as part of the proposed construction of Interstate 35E. It is a steel plate girder bridge and, when it was rehabbed in 2004, now includes a de-icing system embedded in the roadway.

  5. The Smith Bridge is St. Paul's original High Bridge, which opened in 1889. Built of wrought iron and designed for wagons, the High Bridge was demolished in 1985. A replacement bridge opened in July 1987 and underwent construction improvements again in 2007.

  6. The first Wabasha Bridge was completed in 1859 and was known as the "St. Paul Bridge." It is one of the longest bridges spanning the Mississippi in the Twin Cities.

  7. The Robert Street Bridge, built in 1926, carries Robert Street over the Mississippi River. Its distinctive rainbow arches rise 30 feet above the roadway.

  8. The Lafayette Bridge opened to traffic in 1968. It is one of three bridges that carry US Highway 52 across the Mississippi (the other crossings are in Savanna, Illinois and Sabula, Iowa).

As you can see, bridges are vital to connecting people. They are also in constant need of assessment, maintenance, and sometimes complete overhaul in order to keep them functioning and useful; 8 Bridges Workshop provides similar services as we work with our clients and collaborators.

Take a nice pic of a bridge? Tag us on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #8bridgesworkshop.

Interested in learning more about the bridges that span the Mississippi? In addition to MnDOT, the Minnesota Historical Society, and Wikipedia, another source for information is https://www.johnweeks.com/bridges/index.html.