Nicollet Island Railroad Bridge

I live really close to Nicollet Island and love to take walks around it. It’s so quiet and secluded that for a few minutes you can forget that you are right in the middle of a huge city. Most people pass right over it as they cross over the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, but the island has so much history. Originally a sacred site for the Sioux and Ojibwe, it was used as a birthing location. The island was opened for settlement in 1838 and the first house was build in 1849. There are now three multi-family residential buildings and 43 historic homes.  The  The St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Bridge was built in 1867 as the first cross-river railroad bridge in Minneapolis and has since gone through a number of modifications.

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See more photos from my walk here.

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3 Responses to Nicollet Island Railroad Bridge

  1. Matt Steele
    Matt Steele May 16, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    This bridge used to have a curved track on the far end (you can still see the abutment on the south end) which turned trains towards the vanished Great Northern Depot.

    Also these two tracks merge into one at the south end of the bridge, then immediately split back for the mainline to Kenilworth Junction and the station approach to Target Field for Northstar. No idea why they didn’t use a double crossover arrangement so someday trains to St. Paul could leave the station without interfering with trains heading between Kenilworth and Northtown.

  2. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke May 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    I have fond memories of this bridge.

  3. Cameron Conway
    Cameron Conway May 19, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    This area is so cute! I’d love to figure out a way to extend the Nicollet Island Inn/Main Street NE vibe to the few parking lots over there, make Nicollet Island a bit more of a destination. I think that could do wonders to help establish a more public waterfront.

    I also like thinking about a vintage travel poster emblazoned with “Visit the beautiful, tropical beaches of Niiiiiicollet Island!”

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