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Citizens want to save trestle bridge

A push to save the trestle bridge that crosses Fish Hook River in Park Rapids is underway.

The Department of Natural Resources is heading up a bridge replacement project in Park Rapids, which includes removing the trestle bridge and not replacing it.

Park Rapids citizen Dick Rutherford said the reason to save the bridge is the history.

“I think someone needs to say something,” he said. “I know no one wants to take on the DNR but it’s an important part of history.”

He would like to start a petition and can be contacted at 218-371-6223.

Rutherford is considering talking with state Rep. Steve Green to see if he can help with the effort.

Park Rapids citizen Jay Mondry also wants to save the trestle bridge.

“I see no reason to remove it,” he said. “It’s safe enough if no motorized vehicles are used.”

The DNR has said the trestle bridge is in poor condition and is posted now for a maximum of 1,500 pounds.

“As a former member of the Parks Commission, I don’t want to see that piece of history go,” Mondry added.

The DNR’s project includes a new bridge crossing Fish Hook River in Park Rapids. It has been placed and contractors are finishing work. The bridge replacement project is part of a larger Heartland Trail master plan. It reroutes the current trail, which goes across the trestle bridge to Highway 34.

The trestle bridge will be removed sometime after the bridge replacement project is completed, DNR officials said previously, but did not give a timeline on that part of the project.

The project will align with the Heartland Trail master plan, which shows the trail heading west through Red Bridge Park and along Beach Road with the final destination being Moorhead.

Rutherford thinks the trestle bridge could be repaired rather than removed.

“If they have all this money to tear it down they should have the money to repair it,” he said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561