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[graphic] Split Rock Bridge
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[photo] Split Rock Bridge
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper

Built as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, the Split Rock Bridge is an outstanding example of an ornamental park bridge, achieving its aesthetic effect through the purity of its form and the beauty of its random ashlar masonry. The WPA was part of President Franklin Roosevelt's depression-era New Deal Program. The purpose of the WPA was to provide meaningful work to the unemployed and in the process preserve their skills and self-respect. It intended to stimulate the economy by offering the unemployed paid positions, which would enable them to help the economy with their spending.

Split Rock Bridge is a single span stone arch highway bridge that carries an unpaved north and south road over Split Rock Creek. The bridge is constructed of locally quarried bluish pink Sioux quartzite with rock faced and split faced surfaces. Symmetrically framed by stepped, flared random ashlar wing walls, the bridge displays a single segmental arch with random ashlar spandrel walls--the largest stone arch span of any active highway bridge in the state. Surmounted by a well-defined coping, the parapets rise above the

[photo] Two historic views of Split Rock Bridge c.1940
Courtesy of Jasper Area Historical Society and Pipestone County Museum
roadway level to serve as railings. At the south end of the east railing, a commemorative stone plaque bears the inscription "Split Rock Bridge/ Works Progress/ Administration Project/ 1938." The bridge was completed for an approximate cost of $46,000 and survives in an unaltered condition today. The stone was cut from the Miller Quarry in nearby Jasper and was custom cut to fit at the quarry.

Split Rock Bridge and Split Rock Creek State Park are located about one mile south of Ihlen at 336 5th Ave. For further information, call 507-348-7908 or visit the Split Rock State Park website.

[graphic] Link to essay on Pipestone County History [graphic] Link to essay on Downtown Revitalization[graphic] Link to essay on Pipestone: The Rock

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