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Minnesota's Historic Bridges
Mendota Road Bridge
Historic Significance


Mendota Road Bridge

The Mendota Road Bridge is historically significant as a rare example of a small-scale, 19th century, stone-arch highway bridge. Designed by the St. Paul City Engineer's Office, the Mendota Road Bridge was completed in 1894 for a total cost of $1,520. With its 10-foot span, 24-foot width and 19-foot roadway, the structure is the smallest of five masonry arch highway bridges constructed by the City of St. Paul during the 19th century. Because of its diminuative scale, rubble masonry and secluded location on the Mississippi River flats, the bridge resembles "country" stone arches built by rural Minnesota townships during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, the Mendota Road Bridge rises above its country cousins in its concern for ornamentation, as seen in the flourish of the protruding keystones and the echoing lines of the coping and string-course. Ornamentation is one of the key features distinguishing city from country masonry arch bridges. Most other narrow, 19th century stone arches in urban areas have either been demolished or widened with inappropriate concrete additions. It is truly remarkable that the Mendota Road Bridge has retained such complete design integrity, especially in regard to its humpbacked roadway and stone railings.


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