Eastwood Park Bridge
This week Datebook is looking at Historic Preservation in North Dakota as part of National Historic Preservation Month. As a relatively young state, much of our heritage is still visible in the form of buildings, structures or significant sites that help document the paths we have taken to the present. While most of North Dakota's cities and towns sprang up along the railroad, there was an added dimension required in this semi-arid environment to achieve success in establishing a community — a source of water.
Minot was located on the Mouse River in 1885 and gradually spread out across the river valley. When the Eastwood Park residential area began to develop in the 1920s there was a need for a bridge to connect it with the downtown business district, and in 1927, the Eastwood Park Bridge was constructed.
This area of Minot encompasses an oxbow in the Mouse River and consists of stately homes and tree-lined streets reminiscent of a slower paced life in a less tempestuous, bygone era. The small, architecturally pleasing design of the bridge blends nicely into these surroundings. On each side of the bridge, a rainbow arch rises six feet from the deck supported by five pillars — a feature that makes the Eastwood Park Bridge unique.
The bridge is a cantilever, T-beam type, concrete bridge built in three spans with an overall length of 144 feet. The bridge is not a true rainbow arch bridge. At the time, the Minot City Commission approved construction of a rainbow arch bridge, but they were unaware of a patent on that type of construction, which added a significant cost. So, the company had T. W. Sprauge, a State Highway Department engineer, design a standard cantilever bridge and include the false arch into the design. It's the only bridge in North Dakota with this feature.
Through flooding over the years, the river itself has attempted to remove this structure and it was damaged and repaired a number of times. In 1972, and again in 1974, there was significant damage and the question of its usefulness arose. The Eastwood Park community rose to its defense and, with its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, it continues to be an integral part of the history of Minot.
Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis
National Register Nomination - Eastwood Park Bridge by Walter Bailey.