A foot bridge that once spanned streetcar tracks in St. Paul's Como Park, unused for more than 20 years, is slated for restoration next year in a $1.2 million project.
The 88-foot-long bridge, built in 1904, was one of the first reinforced-concrete bridges built in the United States. It was designed in the Classical Revival style and built by William Hewett, a noted Minneapolis bridge-builder, to serve a nearby streetcar station.
The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, but much of the railing is gone and the bridge has been mostly closed ever since. The streetcar tracks were torn up in 1954.
The restoration project, led by the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department, is expected to be finished by early 2014. Funds for the project include $719,000 from the federal transportation enhancement program and $448,000 from St. Paul.
Plans include a trail under the bridge, which is north of Horton Avenue in the south-central area of the park.