The Rock Island Swing Bridge in Inver Grove Heights is a fun place for a short little walk. We are always learning about new and interesting places close to home. Madison had her nose work class at this park two weeks ago which made Mom curious and wanting to check out the park.
Built in 1895, the swing bridge spanned the Mississippi River between Inver Grove Heights and St. Paul Park. The bridge was also one of only a few toll bridges in Minnesota and one of the last ones as well.
As time went on, the bridge was causing more trouble than anything. The east side and the swing portions were torn down. The only section that is left is on the west side. It is now a bridge to nowhere, but it has a nice view of the Mississippi. It is quite pretty to look at. We took this photo from the observation platform.
Along the path to the bridge there are several items to see along with explanation. This thing I have my paws on is a gear, which was one of the ones used to operate the swing portion of the bridge.
We would never know what it could be had the sign not been there to explain!
These railroad tracks were used for the train portion of the bridge. The bridge actually was two levels with the cars below and the trains above. It sounds rather scary, but there were no incidents.
Before I take you onto the bridge there is another sign with more information on the two levels, tolls, and the criminal that passed over the Rock Island Swing Bridge.
The photo of the car driving onto the bridge on the sign above was taken from right about where I am standing getting ready to walk onto the bridge.
Here we go out onto the bridge. Evidently during the restoration of these western segment a fire broke out and the bridge deck was severely damaged. It was then repaired prior to opening as a park feature in 2011.
At the end of the short bridge segment they have giant rocks to be used to sit on and watch the river below. I’m sitting on this one for the photo.
We took a shot of the steel structure about is it is kind of interesting to see.
On the way back to the parking lot we saw this piece of steel art which is nice. It is on both sides of the walking path.
Last but not least, I leave you with a red buoy I found on the path heading to the marina which is next to the bridge. It is a quick walk, but a pretty one, and there are interesting things to see. It is worth checking out if you are in the area.
The park is also located along the Mississippi River Regional Trail.
My GBGV Life is happy, so we’re joining Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday!