1 vote

UP - Hoffman Swing Bridge


Photo taken by Nick Benson

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #241267


The St. Paul Bridge & Terminal Railway built the bridge between 1909 and 1910. It was leased to the Chicago Great Western in 1935. The CGW merged with the Chicago & North Western in 1968, and the bridge became Union Pacific property when it purchased the C&NW in 1995.


Warren through truss bridge over Mississippi River on Union Pacific Railroad
St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, and Dakota County, Minnesota
Open to traffic
Built 1909-10 for St. Paul Bridge & Terminal Railway; East Approach Added 1924-5, Swing Span Rebuilt 1956
- American Bridge Co. of New York (1910 Truss)
- Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Deck Girders)
- Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW)
- Chicago Great Western Railway (CGW)
- St. Paul Bridge & Terminal Railway (StPB&T)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Warren through truss center pivot swing span with pratt truss and deck plate girder approaches.
Length of largest span: 401.0 ft.
Total length: 1,275.0 ft.
Also called
CGW - Mississippi River Bridge
UP - Mississippi River Bridge
CGW - Hoffman Swing Bridge
Pig's Eye Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.91883, -93.05013   (decimal degrees)
44°55'08" N, 93°03'00" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/496043/4973934 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Saint Paul East
Inventory number
BH 53749 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 26, 2021: Updated by John Marvig: added builder
  • April 4, 2018: New photos from John Marvig
  • October 31, 2017: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Expanded history
  • March 28, 2014: New photos from John Marvig
  • October 9, 2012: Photo imported by Luke Harden
  • October 4, 2012: New photos from John Marvig
  • October 3, 2012: Photo imported by Luke Harden
  • October 3, 2012: Added by John Marvig



UP - Hoffman Swing Bridge
Posted April 3, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I found a file with an Authorization For Expenditure (AFE) dated 1956 regarding the modern swing span on this bridge, from the Chicago & North Western Railway Historical Society:


description - Reconctruction of swing span of Mississippi River Bridge at So. St. Paul, Minnesota.

description-additional - The old center pier was underminde by flooding to extent that bridge was unsafe for operation & complete swing span has to be removed to permit navigation.

description-continued - Center pier replacement covered by AFE-11575.

orignial estimated cost - $535,578.94

work started - 1954/07/01

work completed - 1956/11/30

completed net estimated cost - $535,578.94

remarks-1 - dept J-2349

remarks-2 - see AFE notes

- - - - -

note-1 per "details of estimated cost" pages attached to the AFE:: Construct a 400-Ft steel thru truss swing span complete with new deck, electrically operated turning machinery, operators house & machinery house replacing old 400-Ft steel swing span with engine driven turning machinery.

UP - Hoffman Swing Bridge
Posted December 15, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)


Looks like this bridge took some serious damage from the collision earlier this fall...

Hoffman Swing Bridge
Posted March 31, 2013, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)

The Swing Span does look newer. Never noticed that before.

The span was not likely renovated in 1982, as a lift span would have likely been put in instead. So I cannot say when it was renovated. The historic aerial photos of the area are poor quality.

Wikipedia gives the dates of rehabilitation of 1925, 1951 and 1982. I would put my money on the last date though. It is odd, especially for this area, that a bridge built in 1910 wouldn't last until this date.

Odd case.

Hoffman Swing Bridge
Posted March 30, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The approach spans may date to 1910, but the main swing span is clearly new. Anyone know the exact year? John Week's website says work was done many times, most recently in 1982, but I am not sure what date the swing span was replaced.