After material delays and over 6 months and $2M in the making, the Nicollet-Boom Island bridge is open again! In one way, it’s just a footbridge. We had a neighborhood one growing up in Rochester. I don’t remember much of it other than being a 10-year old and using it as a quick shortcut to get to Clarence, a retired gentlemen who patched up our BMX bikes for free. However, it still does separate the John Marshall and Northrup neighborhoods there. But I digress.
The Nicollet-Boom Island repaired footbridge again connects the St. Anthony West and Nicollet Island neighborhoods. You can also still literally walk or bike from Plymouth Ave right on Boom Island through Nicollet Island, Marcy Holmes, Dinkytown and right towards The Bank stadium. You can do this all off the grid with the exception of a small section of E. Island Drive on Nicollet Island and Merriam St (there are sidewalks there as well). This is a huge plus for me. I’m definitely a fan of more bike lanes, always. I’m also a fan of getting from point A to point B in a shorter amount of time. Being able to do this almost completely off the grid is that much safer.
There did appear to be either part or start of a trail here, too. Google Maps doesn’t show it, but maybe someone who knows more than I do can comment.
A new and imperfect 360° photo of the bridge: A lot of it is new material and still partially reserved.
During the reconstruction, the Paddle Share and kayak rentals moved from there to the main Boom Island boat dock. I do not know the inconvenience this caused people. By the bridge was, and will be again in 2019 the docking location. Live Life. Note: This is the old bridge.
Here’s a timeline of the Nicollet-Boom Island bridge repairs project updates. Also, for a more comprehensive view of the area, its history and future, see Devin Hogan’s recent Streets post – Nicollet Island: Seeing the Forest for the Trees. It’s really compelling and informative.
Here’s a small, shared Google Album of the other bridge photos taken from the walk. Enjoy!
Thanks for sharing this, Paul. I have a friend who got married on that bridge.
A brief note on why the bridge is there in the first place. It was built by the Wisconsin Central RR to access their Minneapolis yard and roundhouse on Boom Island. The builder’s plate in the cover photo is in the shape of the Wisconsin Central’s shield logo. A few years later the Boom Island faculties were sold to the Chicago Great Western. The bridge survived in rail service into the 1970s.
The rail line followed the northeast side of Nicollet Island to a connection with the Great Northern. The connecting bridge over the Mississippi east channel is still there.