St. Croix Postcard II

St. Croix Postcard II

The Arcola High Bridge was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1977. Experts have called this bridge the most spectacular multi-span steel arch bridge in the world. Others compare the magnificent steel work to that of Eiffel’s creations in France. Despite the history and national listing, this amazing bridge is all but unknown in the Twin Cities area, and it virtually impossible to get a glimpse of the structure without trespassing or taking to the water.

~ The Bridges And Structures Of The Major Rivers Of Minneapolis And St. Paul

8 thoughts on “St. Croix Postcard II

  1. Eric

    Beautiful structure! Something I always look forward to while paddling small rural creeks/rivers are the steel train bridges you still encounter.



  2. Greg Post author

    Eric – There are a few cool old steel bridges on the St. Croix that I know of, they are always fun to see. Always seem to have some unique and odd engineering features. Then there’s the High Bridge, which is just friggin’ massive. The view from the top on a full moon night is amazing as well, with the whole broad valley below visible in the moonlight…

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. Deb

    I never knew this existed! I just pulled up a photo of the railroad bridge over the Kettle River in Sandstone, and it looks so plain and uninspired compared to this one.

  4. Greg Post author

    Deb – it’s strange how such an enormous and impressive structure can indeed go undetected by most people. It’s just one of those things you’d never know was there unless you were on that stretch of river. I don’t even paddle it very often because to do so you then have to paddle almost down to Stillwater to take out, and that last stretch of river is pretty busy with powerboats. Above it, the river is beautiful, because the bridge actually marks the furthest north that boats are allowed to travel up to from Stillwater, there’s a NPS ranger stationed there in a houseboat all summer long (tough job, but someone’s gotta do it I guess!) to turn people back, it’s meant to prevent the spread of Zebra Mussels upstream. Anyway, I’d be happy to take you out to the bridge if you ever get down this way, you can imagine it’s pretty impressive in person too.

    Here’s one of my favorite photos I’ve ever seen of the bridge (not my photo):


  5. BB-Idaho

    Wonder if that’s the bridge? Some (well, many) years back, I worked in a lab in Fridley, MN. One of our techs was a German immigre, a child at the time of Hitler. She married as US serviceman and ended up in Fridley. They were invited on a weekend excursion on the St. Croix..large yacht-type thing.
    She reported the following Monday that it was very nice, but that they had moored for a night at the footings of a high railroad bridge. The first freight train begain as a rumble in the distance, growing louder, then clanged above them in full roar of steel on steel. She said after the midnight surprise she
    failed to sleep the rest of the St. Croix night..hadn’t been that terrified since the Dusseldorf bombing!
    Wonder if that’s the bridge?

  6. Greg Post author

    What a funny story! This very well could be the bridge, it’s definitely the biggest railroad bridge with the most freight train traffic on the river I know of. I’ve been out on the bridge when trains have come (we got off the bridge before they arrived) and they sure roar across it.

    Cheers, thanks for commenting.

  7. terry

    nice, iv been on this bridge twice while a train crossed. it was a little scary but there is small walk way with a railing so theres room and something to hang on to. i also climbed from bottom on mn side to the top. the only thing that sucks was couldnt get on top of tracks from the bridge had to sit under the ties then climb back down.

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