Como historic pedestrian bridge & Interpretive site

Owner: City of St. Paul Parks & Recreation
Architect: Westwood Professional Services / Clark Engineers
Location: St. Paul, MN
Size: 1,800 SF
Delivery Method: Design-Bid-Build

This award-winning project restored the historic Como Pedestrian Bridge to its original state, while also creating a bicycle and pedestrian trail connection. The bridge, originally built in 1905, provides safe pedestrian access into Como Park over the busy streetcar tracks. Construction plans were prepared in collaboration with historic preservation specialists and the MnDOT office of Cultural Resources to restore the bridge in accordance with historic preservation standards. LS Black worked closely with concrete suppliers to create a unique mix specifically designed to match the 100-year old existing concrete, while meeting all requirements of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for historic restoration.

The extensive rehabilitation included removing unsound concrete, reforming new concrete to restore the shape and details of the original bridge, placement of a waterproof membrane below the deck to protect the arch from water damage, installation of a new deck that recreates the original scoring pattern, and custom-made decorative railing to match the originals.  Site work included trail excavation, installation of all new base materials, and installation of new bituminous trail surfaces, paths, elevated plaza, stairs, trellises and railings.

The restored bridge now provides a safe and sound pedestrian crossing above the trail amenity below, and restores one of the iconic, early 20th century features of Como Park. Over 25% of the work was self-performed.