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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Mississippi River Crossing
Saint Paul, MN

Wabasha Street Bridge

Northbound Span
• Structure ID: NBI: 62555A.
 
Southbound Span
• Structure ID: NBI: 62555B.
 
Statistics Common To Both Spans
• Location: River Mile 839.50.
• River Elevation: 686 Feet.
• Highway: Wabasha Street.
• Daily Traffic Count: 6,250 (1997).
• Bridge Type: Concrete Box Girder.
• Length: 1,252.5 Feet, 396 Foot Main Span.
• Width: 2 Traffic Lanes Per Span, 2 Spans.
Each Span 47.7 Foot Traffic Lanes Plus A 12 Foot Walkway.
• Navigation Channel Width: 316 Feet.
• Height Above Water: 52 Feet.
• Date Built: Open To Traffic In 1998.
The City of Saint Paul desired to build a signature bridge at this location when the old Wabasha Bridge became obsolete. One style that was seriously considered was a cable stayed bridge. While it would have been grand, it would have cost too much. The city settled on a pretty basic bridge style. Once the bridge was built, pastel green and pink trim and lighting was added to the bridge to jazz it up a bit. While the bridge opened to traffic in 1998, many of the decorative features and metalwork items were not completed until late 2001.

The National Bridge Inventory considers this to be two separate bridges. The northbound lanes on the east span are assigned NBI number 62555A, while the southbound lanes on the west span are assigned NBI number 62555B.

Update—a 20 year old Saint Paul man was taken to the hospital in critical condition on July 28, 2011, after falling from the Wabasha Bridge. He was crossing the traffic lanes between the sidewalks with a group of of friends. He jumped over the railing at the center of the bridge no knowing that this was two independent bridge spans. He fell between the gap between the bridges, and landed on Raspberry Island after falling 55 feet.

The photo above is a view of the bridge from the corner of Shepard Road and Ontario Street looking to the east. The Robert Street Bridge is visible in the background.


Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are looking northwest across the Mississippi River towards downtown Saint Paul from Raspberry Island on the south side of the main river channel. The photo above is a view of the main channel span, while the photo below is the north bridge abutment. These photos were taken on a bright autumn day. It was necessary to overexpose the bright parts of the photos in order to see detail in the shaded areas.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are looking west towards the Wabasha Street Bridge from Raspberry island. The photo above is a view of the main river span from the north side of the island. The photo below is a view of the bridge span over Raspberry Island as seen from the band shell on the east end of the island.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are views of the spans over the south channel that flows between Raspberry Island and the West Side neighborhood of Saint Paul. The bridge in the background is the access road to the island.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are views from under the spans of the Wabasha Street Bridge, both taken from the pedestrian bridge that connects between the spans under the bridge. The photo below is looking north across the main channel of the Mississippi River. The photo below is looking south across the south river channel.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo below is looking north across the south river channel towards Raspberry Island from the walkway under the bridge at the south abutment. The photo below is looking south from the edge of Kellogg Street across the main channel of the Mississippi River along the east face of the Wabasha Street Bridge.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are views from the bridge deck. The photo above is looking downriver towards the east. The Great Western, Robert Street, and Lafayette Bridges are visible in the distance. The photo below is looking upriver to the west. The Smith Avenue High Bridge is visible on the left side of the photo.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are views of the pedestrian stair towers on Raspberry Island. The photo above is looking north, while the photo below is looking west. Note the catwalk under the bridge between the two stair towers.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo above is the first flight of stairs, which runs parallel to the river channel between the legs of a main bridge pier. The photo below is the first bridge landing on the stair tower as seen from the plaza on the west side of the structure.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are the stairway leading from the ground level to the catwalk level. The photo above is the lower flight, while the photo below is the upper flight leading to the catwalk level. These two photos are from the east stair tower.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo above is looking west along the catwalk that spans between the two stair towers under the traffic deck. The photo below is a view of the catwalk from the Raspberry Island parking lot. The catwalk also passes through the legs of a main bridge pier.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are the next set of stairs leading up towards the bridge deck on the stair towers. The photo above is the first flight leading upward from the catwalk level. The photo below is the 2nd flight above the catwalk leading to a landing that is just below the bridge structure. Two flights lead from this landing to the bridge deck.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are views looking north along the bridge structure from the stair towers on the first landings below the traffic deck. The photo above is a view along the east face of the bridge, while the photo below is along the west face of the structure.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are the stair landings on top of the bridge deck. The photo above is looking northeast at the landing on the east side of the northbound span. The photo below is looking west across the bridge decks towards the landing on the west side of the southbound span.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo above is the east stair tower landing as seen from the sidewalk on the west side of the southbound span. The photo below is a view from the bicycle lane on the highway side of the inner bridge railing. Note that there is a set of observation bump-outs located to the north of the stair tower landings, and a similar blue steel decoration on the plaza at the north end of the bridge.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photo are looking northbound from the stairway landing on the northbound bridge span. The photo above is looking down the pedestrian sidewalk. The photo below is a wide-angle view from the same location showing the Saint Paul skyline.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are views of an observation bump-out on the west side of the southbound bridge span. The bump-out is marked with a decorative steel structure that is painted a pastel blue. The photo above is a view from the sidewalk on the northbound structure, while the photo below is the same bump-out as seen from the southbound bridge span.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo above is an observation bump-out on the southbound bridge span located south of the stair tower. The photo below is the observation bump-out directly opposite this location on the northbound span

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo above is looking north along the outside bridge railing on the southbound span towards the stair tower. The photo below is looking north down the length of the southbound span from the southbound bicycle lane. The building with the red digit ‘1’ is the former First Bank tower, now a US Bank building, a longtime Saint Paul landmark.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are views looking to the north along the upriver west face of the Wabasha Street Bridge. The photo above focuses on the west stair tower as seen from the southern observation bump-out on the southbound bridge span. The photo below is a wide angle view of the bridge as seen from the plaza at the south end of the structure.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These two photos are views of the stairwell structures at the north end of the bridge. The photo above is looking north towards the stairwell structure for the northbound bridge span. The photo below is looking west across the bridge deck towards the stairwell structure for the southbound bridge span. The bridge spans are hollow. These stairwells allow access to the interior of the bridge.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo above is a view looking west across the plaza at the north end of the bridge. The photo below is a view of the north end of the bridge as seen from the southbound bicycle lane. The traffic lights control the intersection of Wabasha Street and Kellogg Boulevard.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo above is a commemorative plaque attached to the northbound stairwell structure. The photo below is a geodetic marker embedded in the sidewalk near the north end of the southbound bridge span. MN-DOT places these markers on many structures to define a location where repeatable surveys can be established.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge

Wabasha Street Bridge


Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo above is a street level view of the Wabasha Bridge looking north from Wabasha Street near the intersection with Water Street. The photo below is the first of three photos showing a typical crossing of the Wabasha Street Bridge heading north. In this photo, we are just entering the south end of the bridge.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
In the photo above, we continue our trip across the Wabasha Street Bridge. We have reached the halfway point in our crossing. We are just passing Raspberry Island and we are heading towards the curve in the bridge. In the photo below, we nearing the north end of the bridge at Kellogg Avenue.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
These photos are two views from under the Wabasha Street Bridge. The photo above is the pier structure on the north side of Raspberry Island. The bridge has two stair towers made out of decorative metal, a pedestrian bridge between the towers, and a staircase leading down to Raspberry Island. We also notice that the bridge really is two parallel spans. The photo below is looking south across the west channel of the Mississippi River. The Raspberry Island Bridge is visible on the right side of the photo.

Wabasha Street Bridge
Wabasha Street Bridge
The photo above is a view of the Wabasha Street Bridge from near the Great Western Lift Bridge. The photo below is a view of the Wabasha Street Bridge from the parking lot located at the southeast end of the bridge.

Wabasha Street Bridge

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
For further information, contact: john@johnweeks.com