Signs of old trolley found in St. Croix bridge construction

  • Updated: August 17, 2013 - 5:47 PM

Workers moving tons of earth for a new St. Croix River bridge have uncovered apparent signs of a trolley line that dated to 1899.

“What they found are steel beams that are protruding from the earth,” Brent Peterson of the Washington County Historical Society said last week. “I do know the trolleys went all the way to Bayport.”

The discovery occurred where the ghost neighborhood of Oak Parks Heights stood until this summer when construction began. Dozens of houses once graced the area.

Jon Chiglo, the bridge ­project manager for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said pieces of abandoned abutments and piers — but no tracks — were found when workers installed new utilities. “There wasn’t much of anything left,” he said.

Peterson and Chiglo said the remains had no historical significance.

The trolley line, once part of the Twin City Rapid ­Transit Co., ran for 33 years. A trip from Stillwater to Stillwater prison cost 6 cents, and Stillwater to Bayport cost 10 cents.

Kevin Giles

@stribgiles

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