The West End's High Bridge
High Bridge demolition:
3:55 p.m. Sunday, February 24, 1985
As many as 25,000 spectators gathered
dozens of vantage points up and down the river.
This sequence was taken by
on his front porch at 169 Goodrich Avenue.
Implosion of the High Bridge
7:30 a.m. Saturday, June 27, 2008
SAINTLY CITY SURVIVES
ITS WORST STORM
The Wrecked High Bridge is
the most Serious Property Loss
Caused By the Storm in Its Passage Over the City
St. Paul rose with the sun yesterday
morning, expecting to find a devastated city, and was surprised. The
extreme fears of those who had experienced the terrifying winds, the
dazzling flashes of lighting, the deafening peals of thunder, and the roar
of bursting timbers were not realized.
The greatest single property loss was the
destruction of two spans of the high bridge, a burden which will fall upon
the city at large. Any attempt to estimate the aggregate property loss
would be but the wildest guess. The damage is distributed among thousands
of residents and hundreds of business houses...
The Daily Pioneer Press,
August 22, 1904, p. 1.
A view of the city and the destruction looking east in
The first major repair to the bridge was replacing the
five southernmost spans. These were sheared from the structure and dropped
100 yards downstream in a storm which registered winds in excess of 180
mph before the anemometer broke.
The rebuilt portion of the bridge was reconstructed
according to the plans of the original bridge. At first it was thought
that part of the tangled wreckage could be salvaged from the river for
reuse. However, the damage was too severe, and "mild steel" now replaced
the original wrought iron. Mild steel contains less of the impurities
which inhibit rust expansion than wrought iron, and these rebuilt sections
were in the worst deteriorated when the bridge was demolished.
The total cost of reconstruction was $61,000 and it was
reopened in June of 1905.
Adapted with permission from
St. Paul's High Bridge 1889-1985
Minnesota Department of Transportation,