Creating a new connection in Carver, Scott counties

  • Article by: TOM MEERSMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 18, 2011 - 2:56 PM

Carver and Scott counties each will receive about 2.5 miles of new trail, but the railroad bridge across the Minnesota River that once connected them can't be saved.

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ZombiehunterOct. 20, 11 4:33 PM

It's a shame the old bridge can't be saved. But you can see from the photo just how off the piers are. I'm surprised trains didn't tip off the structure.

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IFLANDEROct. 21, 11 9:17 AM

Just out of curiosity. How did the Union Pacific originally get the land for the railway.

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liberaleliteOct. 21, 11 9:46 AM

Whatever happens, we need to preserve corridors of abandoned rail lines. We've already lost too many. Once corridors are gone, they are usually gone forever.

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pdempseyOct. 25, 11 2:48 PM

@zombie - it was only matter of time before UP abandonded the line. The bridge hadn't seen maintenance since the Chicago Northwestern owned the line until UP purchased C&NW in 1995. Even the steel trusses were in very bad condition and the bridge swayed when trains would pass over it. The piers are beyond repair after 140 years of pressure on them from the river and the log jams. @iflander - the line was built in 1870 by the Minneapolis & St Louis Railroad which went south toward Waseca, in to Iowa and eventually to Peoria, IL (the line never reached St Louis!). M&StL was bought by C&NW in 1960. C&NW operated the line from Merriam to Minneapolis until 1991 when the line north from Chaska was abandoned and torn up (now the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT trail). UP bought C&NW in 1995 and operated the line until 2007 when a backwater trestle collapsed due to high water on the Minnesota River. @liberal - this line really doesn't go anywhere. What was left of the original line went from Chaska to Merrian (adjacent to the Renaissance Festival). The UP mainline on the east side of the river goes to downtown St Paul, but you are right that abandoned lines should be preserved and not torn up. The Chaska line was still in good shape except for the river bridge.

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shuckNov. 1, 11 8:11 PM

Does anyone know if the memorial placard on the bridge for the 9 year old boy who drowned (never found) going to be moved elsewhere?

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