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Rock Island Swing Bridge
More About the Bridge
The Rock Island Swing Bridge was a double decker bridge first constructed in 1894 and served rail cars on the top and horse and buggy and eventually cars on the lower deck. In 1982 the railroad went bankrupt and the JAR Company began operating the bridge as a toll facility for vehicles until MN-DOT closed the bridge due to structural issues in 1999. 

In November 2008, a portion of the structure collapsed on the Washington County side and Washington and Dakota County’s began demolition the bridge in January 2009.  In March 2009 Governor Pawlenty sign a demolition moratorium that stopped the counties from demolishing the bridge. In October 2009 the City of Inver Grove Heights took ownership of the structure and hired SEH Inc. as engineers to design a 670 foot pier by reusing parts of the original bridge. Today the bridge decks and remaining structure have been refurbished at a cost of $2,300,000.

The City of Inver Grove Heights developed this project to provide visitors with an opportunity to access the Mississippi River.  The city expects that the bridge will draw visitors to the area and help with the city’s efforts to revitalize the Concord Boulevard neighborhood.  The areas connection to the Great River Road and the Mississippi River Regional Trail is found inside the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River Recreation Area and provides multiple reasons for people to come to the area, recreate, shop, and explore the existing and future businesses. 

Operational hours of the bridge would follow the current park operating hours for all city parks of 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

It is anticipated that the pier will remain open throughout the spring / summer / fall months once construction of 66th St is complete.  The construction project includes the resurfacing of 66th St., the extension of water and sewer for a future Dakota County Trailhead restroom facility, off-street parking, and trail connections.

Click here for a presentation on the Mississippi River Regional Trailhead plan. 

Please check back for up-to-date information regarding the status of the pier.  If you have questions please contact the Parks and Recreation Director, Eric Carlson, at (651) 450.2587 or email him.

The City Council is actively pursuing donations to help fund the restoration project. Please watch this video and consider making a donation.


Please download this brochure for information on our Pier Project Partner Program!
Download an informational article on the bridge.

If you have any questions about the project please contact Eric Carlson, Parks and Recreation Director at (651) 450-2587 or by email.