Saturday, March 02, 2024
Dakota County Historical Society
To preserve, interpret and promote the history of Dakota County.

Location: Minnesota Highway 55

The Minnesota River Ferry operated as early as 1839 moving people and goods to and from Fort Snelling. Early Mendota area roads all terminated at the ferry crossing point. The ferry stopped running once the Mendota Bridge was constructed.

When it opened on November 8, 1926, the Mendota Bridge was the longest continuous concrete-arch bridge in the world, measuring 4,119 feet. Great fanfare occasioned the opening with a telegraph from President Calvin Coolidge. Two huge caravans of approximately 15,000 cars met in the center of the bridge and Minnesota Governor Theodore Christianson untied golden ropes for its formal opening. The bridge was dedicated to the “Gopher Gunners” of the 151st Field Artillery who died in World War I. Replacing the old ferry which ran between Fort Snelling and the Village of Mendota since the mid-1800’s, the bridge cost $1,870,000 and was designed by Minneapolis engineer Walter H. Wheeler and nationally famous engineer C. A. P. Turner. Koss Construction Company supervised the project which took an average of 200 men two-and-one-half years to construct.

Visit one of these Dakota County Historic Sites