Historic Stillwater lift bridge gains recreational trail

A historic bridge management plan for the 1931 Stillwater Lift Bridge was needed to guide its conversion to pedestrian and bicycle use as part of a regional trail system. Our historians prepared the management approach, following the award-winning program we had developed earlier for MnDOT. We coordinated project support with local citizens and multiple government agencies through advisory committee meetings and public open houses.

The 10-span lift bridge was listed in the National Register in 1989. A large, circular concrete concourse associated with the bridge creates a gateway entrance to downtown Stillwater. We developed detailed guidance on treatments for the steel truss bridge spans, with special attention to trail requirements and compliance with federal accessibility standards. We also provided on-site monitoring during construction, leading to valuable mid-course corrections and outstanding final results. By drafting a recommendation for a state-managed endowment fund, we helped our client identify long-term funding needed for maintenance.