The Pink Bridge was given its name by local residents due to the bridge
having been painted pink at some point during its life. The Pink Bridge
was originally built in Little Falls, where it crossed the Mississippi
River when it was completed in 1884. It was disassembled and move to
the small railroad village of Fort Ripley in 1902. The bridge replaced
a ferry boat that was started by the US Government in 1849 to as a
means of access to the Fort Ripley military camp on the west side of
the river. The Pink Bridge remained in operation until the spring
of 1947, when high water and an ice jam destroyed the bridge. A
ferry went back into operation, and was noted on maps until as late
I have not yet found a photo of the old Pink Bridge. I have read
reports that it was a wooden structure with iron supports. Since it
was built before the age of the automobile, it likely was a one lane
wagon bridge. Aerial photos available from Google Earth suggest that
the bridge would have been about 360 feet long. Today, only the
western abutment remains. The eastern abutment and any mid-channel
piers have since been removed. The western abutment is currently
used to anchor a large power transmission line. That area is
part of the Camp Ripley Military Reservation, so access is limited.
The east side has been developed into a boat landing. It also has
a marker to commemorate the history of old Fort Ripley, which was
located on the west side of the river in the mid-1800s.
The photo above is the western abutment of the former river bridge. The
photo below is a view of the river crossing location as seen from the
riverside park on the east side of the river.
The photo above is a view looking west towards the river down the road
to the former location of the east abutment of the bridge. This road
is now a private driveway. The photo below is a view of the road that
leads to the riverfront park and boat landing that is maintained by
the MN State DNR.
These two photos are the same scene from early summer of 2009. The photo
above is a view of the west bridge abutment. The photo below is a closer
view of the Pink Bridge remains.