This bridge is a concrete arch bridge which has a stone facing on the spandrel walls and also has stone parapets which make the bridge look like a stone arch bridge. This technique was common in park bridges and also in the earlier years of concrete bridges when people were still adjusting to the appearance of a concrete bridge, where a desire to avoid the somewhat plain appearance of concrete and instead maintain the traditional appearance of a stone arch was desired. The National Bridge Inventory gives a 1902 construction date for this bridge. This was further confirmed by review of a 1902 Report of the South Park Commissioners, which stated the following:
The new bridge is located at a point nearly in the center of the park. It is 180 feet in length and 78 feet in width, a driveway fifty feet in width and two walks twelve feet in width being carried across it. The faces of the bridge are a reddish Minnesota granite, rockfaced. The parapet is granite, dressed on the interior face. The arch is elliptical and gives a clearance over the water of fourteen feet. The span is seventy feet. The arch is of concrete enclosing nine-inch iron beams.
This description, particularly the mention of "nine-inch iron beams" indicates that this is an extremely rare Melan type arch bridge which uses solid beams for reinforcement rather than traditional rebar. Melan arches are, like this bridge, typically found in the oldest surviving concrete bridges.
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This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Melan
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