Historic Bridge Restoration
The historic Como Park Bridge, better known as “the bridge to nowhere”, is more than 110 years old. Before the bridge was restored, it was a crumbling, deserted, and severely distressed bridge. The railings and balusters were deteriorated at their base and the cast-in-place concrete archway was completely delaminated from the underside, exposing the reinforcing steel. With years of concrete distress and continuous vandalism, it was eventually fenced off to visitors by the City of St. Paul.
In their effort to prevent further collapse while preserving some of the city’s history, the city of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department envisioned an interpretive site with a bike path passing below, however considerable corrective action was required to make passing below the bridge possible. As they explored their plan, the MnDOT office of Cultural Resources became involved in the project, and the question was raised as to whether the bridge could be restored given its rich transportation history.
Upon further investigation by IMEG, the bridge structure was determined to be much more stable than initially thought. That given, IMEG provided structural and restoration engineering services, as well as 3D laser scanning, condition studies, restoration documents, and construction administration to keep the bridge from collapsing, but restored it and its functionality while creating a landmark for the City of St. Paul.
ACEC/MN Engineering Excellence Honor Award 2016
Saint Paul Heritage Top Preservation Award 2017