Park Commissioner Scott Vreeland's pet rocks are now in place in a portion of Bohemian Flats below the Washington Avenue Bridge that's being used as a construction staging area.

The rocks are the remains of piers that once supported the original Franklin Avenue Bridge constructed in 1889.

The Coast Guard ordered the piers removed -- something that was supposed to occur when the current bridge was built in the early 1920s -- as part of the current $50 million bridge rehab project.

Vreeland expressed affection for the piers, and advocated in an online forum that they be spared. But Hennepin County said it concluded that rather than save money by remaining in place, the piers would add to the construction budget by complicating construction access and requiring stabilization to avoid further deterioration.

But the county and contractor offered the rocks to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, since they would be offloaded from a construction barge at Bohemian Flats. Vreeland said the ultimate use of the rocks will be up to the full board, but he's fine with incorporating them into the park, which is headed for its own renovation.

Meanwhile, the county said that its contractor is beginning construction of coffer dams that will allow it to work on the base of piers that support the bridge.