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Phalen Park Arch Bridge

Phalen Park Arch Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 3, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pedestrian Walkway Over Keller Creek
St. Paul: Ramsey County, Minnesota: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Slab, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1910 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Claude Allen Porter Turner of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
55 Feet (16.8 Meters)
Structure Length
124 Feet (37.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
27.6 Feet (8.41 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge has been altered, resulting in a severe loss of historic integrity and significance!

View Presentations Discussing This Bridge's Reconstruction

This bridge has a long and unusual history of alteration. It was originally built in 1910 as an open spandrel concrete arch bridge with concrete balustrade railings. Famous engineer C.A.P. Turner designed the bridge. In 1934, the bridge was reportedly deteriorating to some extent and a major reconstruction was undertaken. As part of this project, the bridge was converted to a closed spandrel arch bridge, with a limestone facing added to the bridge. Original balustrade railings were replaced with stone parapets with small openings. An open spandrel concrete arch bridge was transformed into a bridge that looked like a stone arch bridge. In 2011, another massive alteration took place, again a result of deterioration to the bridge. Nearly all of the original bridge material including both concrete and stone was either removed and replaced, or was covered up by new concrete. The intent of the project was the maintain the appearance of the bridge following the 1934 project. The only original 1934 stone reused on the bridge was the railing caps! The railings were made slightly taller, and special stones stepped inside the openings on the railing were used to keep the original appearance of the railing, but close up the holes to meet whatever silly railing codes are in place these days. The arch barrel is lined with precast concrete arches.

This bridge could hardly be called a preserved historic bridge with so much original bridge material lost. Yet, the bridge does look a lot nicer than a hideous prefabricated ConSpan bridge, which was apparently what the city had also considered. The bridge does offer some interpretive value into what the 1934 bridge looked like.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Phalen Park Arch Bridge

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