INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. (FOX 9) - A pier in Dakota County that juts out over the Mississippi River is not only scenic but also historic.
The Rock Island Swing Bridge in Inver Grove Heights will take you back to the days of gangster John Dillinger when it was a quick way out of town. FOX 9's Karen Scullin visited the site in this week's "On the Map."
Some call it the "Bridge to Nowhere" but the real name of it is the Rock Island Swing Bridge. It used to go all the way across the Mississippi between Inver Grove Heights and St. Paul Park.
The Rock Island Swing Bridge made for a great escape for gangster John Dillinger. (Supplied)
In a fascinating twist of history, in the 1930s, this bridge was used by the notorious gangster John Dillinger as a getaway route following an FBI raid. The bridge was his pathway to Chicago.
Fast forward to 1980, the bridge was closed to rail traffic, and by 1999, vehicles were also prohibited. The bridge was deteriorating and in 2009, a portion of it was demolished.
However, there was a concerted effort to preserve what remained. Around 2011, the City of Inver Grove Heights endeavored to restore and re-purpose it into a walking pier. Today, it's a place to reflect on the hustle and bustle that once was, while relishing the now peaceful river and its surroundings.