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Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 2:25:33 AM CDT
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Raspberry Island Bridge
Raspberry Island Mississippi River Crossing
Saint Paul, MN

Raspberry Island Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI: 62580.
• Location: River Mile 839.51.
• River Elevation: 686 Feet.
• Highway: Service Road To Raspberry Island.
• Daily Traffic Count: 100 (2000).
• Bridge Type: Cast-In-Place Concrete.
• Length: 325 Feet Overall, 75 Foot Longest Span.
• Width: 1 Lane, 28 Feet.
• Navigation Channel Width: 70 Feet.
• Height Above Water: 20 Feet.
• Date Built: Opened November 2001.
Raspberry Island is the last true island in the Mississippi River in Saint Paul. There were more islands, including Harriet Island, but the small channels that flowed between these islands have been filled in. The island got its name in the 1880s due to the wild raspberries that grew along the shore of the river. The island was renamed Navy Island in 1948 after the establishment of a US Navy training facility. The Navy abandoned the island in the mid-1960s. From there, it became a parking lot for downtown workers. The island was renamed Raspberry Island with the planning of the new Wabasha Street Bridge in the early 1990s. A small band shell was erected, and a few concerts were put on over the years.

The west end of Raspberry Island is the home of the Minnesota Boat Club. They have used Raspberry Island since 1870, and the current boathouse dates back to 1910. Over the years, various nightclubs have used the 2nd floor of the boathouse. After a recent renovation, the 2nd floor is reserved for special events and weddings under an arrangement with the Saint Paul Radisson hotel.

The old Raspberry Island bridge was in the way when the new Wabasha Street Bridge was built. To accommodate the construction, the old bridge was removed, and a temporary bridge was installed on the downstream end of the island. After the Wabasha Street Bridge was completed, a new Raspberry Island bridge was built. That bridge was completed in 2001. At that time, the temporary bridge was removed.

Raspberry Island has seen a major renovation in 2007 and 2008. The old concrete walls were removed and riprap was installed around the island. This is to prevent erosion of the island. The island itself was totally landscaped. This included building a new bandstand, parking lot, public restrooms, and planting over 2500 trees and flowers.

The photo above is a view of the downstream face of the Raspberry Island Bridge as seen from Raspberry Island. The photo below is a similar view of the upstream face of the bridge. The large structure above the bridge in these photos is the south end of the two parallel spans of the Wabasha Street Bridge.


Raspberry Island Bridge
Raspberry Island Bridge
These two photos are views looking south from the stairway structure on the Wabasha Street Bridge. The bridge plaza is located on the far side of the river channel, with the Harriet Island Regional Park located to the west of the plaza.

Raspberry Island Bridge
Raspberry Island Bridge
These two photos are views looking north towards Raspberry Island from the plaza located at the south end of the Wabasha Street Bridge. The Saint Paul Yacht Club is located on the west end of Raspberry Island, while the east end of the island is a city park. The park was redeveloped in the late 2000s with walking paths, a band shell, and a paved parking lot.

Raspberry Island Bridge
Raspberry Island Bridge
The photo above is a view of the Raspberry Island bridge from street level looking south down the length of the bridge deck towards the mainland. Much of the bridge is located under the Wabasha Street bridge, which casts a large shadow over the structure. The photo below is the bridge plate.

Raspberry Island Bridge

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2014, all rights reserved.
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