Robert Street Bridge

The first bridge here opened in 1886 and served until the early 1920s, when a higher bridge was required to accommodate a raised railroad platform at St. Paul Union Depot. Designed by Toltz, King and Day of St. Paul, the bridge is a type known as a “rainbow arch,” so named because the arches of the main span raise above the roadway like, well, rainbows. This form was dictated by the demands of the site: the bridge’s roadway needed to reach Kellogg Mall at grade but also had to clear the elevated tracks of the adjacent Great Western Lift Bridge (1913) and be high enough to permit the passage of riverboats. The bridge, which has art deco touches, was rebuilt in 1989 by the same firm, now known as TKDA, that had designed it 65 years earlier.