Stone Arch Bridge – a Minneapolis icon

Stone Arch Bridge – famous for its graceful arches and breathtaking views – defines Minneapolis’ skyline. Railroad baron James J. Hill built the bridge in 1883 to allow for increased movement of people and goods across the Mississippi River. The Stone Arch Bridge spans St. Anthony Falls, and served as a working railroad bridge until 1965.


City leaders and community members are working to permanently light the Stone Arch Bridge.

Today the Stone Arch Bridge is cultural icon, representing the vital role the Mississippi River plays in Minneapolis’ social and economic fabric. The one-of-a-kind landmark made of native granite and limestone, measures 2,176 feet by 28 feet, with 23 arches. It is the only stone arch bridge ever constructed over the Mississippi River.

But at nightfall, the Stone Arch Bridge disappears from the Minneapolis skyline – a situation City of Minneapolis leaders and private partners are working to remedy. Funds are being raised to permanently light the bridge. The goal of the proposed lighting project is to decoratively highlight the bridge by lighting the undersides of the arches and the truss across the navigation channel. For more information about the Stone Arch Bridge lighting project, call David Fey at (612) 673-2100.

Background on efforts to restore the Stone Arch Bridge

During the construction of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock in 1963, the Stone Arch Bridge was modified to replace two arches with a 200-foot long truss spanning the navigation channel. The bridge is a National Historic Engineering Landmark, signifying its note-worthy physical structure and important role in the growth of Minneapolis.

In 1994 a partnership of public agencies raised $2.8 million to restore the bridge and prepare it for recreational use. This award-winning project included extensive work to repair and stabilize the structure and the addition of a new surface, railings and light fixtures.

Today, the bridge accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists and the River City Trolley. It continues to offer spectacular views of St. Anthony Falls, the historic milling district and the Minneapolis skyline and is an important link in the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail.

Last updated Sep. 27, 2011