Stone Arch Bridge

The iconic span of the Mississippi has seen more than its share of mayhem in recent weeks.

Yesterday, David Zimmer and I visited the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis. The bridge is as advertised, constructed in 1883 to carry the Great Northern Railroad across the river below the Falls of St. Anthony into downtown Minneapolis. Instead of trains, the bridge now carries bicycles and pedestrians, connecting a series of parks on both sides of the river.

Lately, the bridge has been the scene of much mayhem, including a mass shooting in late June.

On the night of July 4, the streets near the downtown end of the bridge were the scene of mass chaos, as a group of hodrodders rode down the streets shooting fireworks at buildings and pedestrians. The videos posted of the events have received millions of views, worldwide.

In reaction, the city has erected concrete barriers to redirect traffic near both ends of the bridge:

Traffic barriers near both ends of the Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis, 7/12/2022.

At the downtown end of the bridge, the approaches to the span are surrounded by high-end apartments and million-dollar condos. On the east side, the bridge empties into a park near a power plant.

It’s unclear how long the barriers will remain in place.