The Swinging Bridge: historic photos and timeline

This slideshow features photographs of Jay Cooke State Park's iconic swinging bridge as it has changed over the decades. Scroll down beneath the gallery to see a timeline of the bridge's history.

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This slideshow features photographs of Jay Cooke State Park's iconic swinging bridge as it has changed over the decades. This slideshow requires the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

 

 

Timeline

1924

The Forest Service builds the first Swinging Bridge of logs and rope.

1934 and 1935

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) builds the bridge with the familiar stone pillars we see today.

1950

The Swinging Bridge is destroyed in what is now the second largest flood on record. This flood was recorded at 42,000 cubic feet per second. The smaller pillars were knocked down, the decking destroyed, and some reports indicate that one of the main pillars may have been toppled.

1953

Reconstruction is completed and the bridge reopens. The concrete caps seen on top of the pillars are added to raise the bridge level. It has been raised a total of 7.5 feet since it was originally built.

1970s and 1980s

The bridge undergoes further alterations and repairs.

June 21, 2012

The bridge is destroyed by another flood. This flood is reported by Minnesota Power to run at 55,000 cubic feet per second. Again, the smaller pillars are knocked down.

Photo of the swinging bridge at Jay Cooke State Park after the 2012 flood damage

 

Map showing locations of flood damage around the park

Slideshow of flooding at Jay Cooke and other state parks

Jay Cooke State Park home page