The restoration of a historic gateway into the west part of Saint Peter is finalized as the community and MnDOT held a ceremony on Tuesday to mark the completion of the Highway 99 Minnesota River Bridge.

“You know there’s only about 200 bridges left in our system that are pre-1956. This is one of 24 bridges in the state that has been selected for preservation,” said District 7 Engineer Greg Ous. “To be able to take that type of project on, it’s different, it’s new for us. It’s not just run of the mill, the work that we do all the time.”

The bridge was originally constructed in 1931 for 99-thousand dollars, meanwhile, the restoration of the bridge cost MnDOT 4.9-million dollars.

“It really is a destination for those that are coming and interested in historic features. The work that we did in 2009 and 2010 in the downtown area, trying to recreate that early 19th-century feel. Then the City of Saint Peter doing that little bit more work on Broadway here to bring what’s out there on Highway 169 and turn that up Broadway and towards the bridge, it really completes the flavor of the community.”

The bridge restoration was one of four major projects in the Saint Peter area over the last four years, which also includes two separate projects on Highway 169 and work on Highway 22.

“Things that we did on Highway 169 needed to be done in terms of the pavement and also for flood mitigation for the future. The same with the work on Highway 22. All of these individual projects set up in a very short time period, the community rallied around that and they helped create a business environment that was still productive for people.”

Work was started in 2017 on the Highway 99 bridge project, which included strengthening the truss floor beams, replacing the bridge deck and sidewalk, adding new lights and repainting the structure the original color of a dark green.