The first suspension bridge built over the Mississippi River opened on January 23rd 1855.
The Father Louis Hennepin Bridge crosses the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota at Nicollet Island. The bridge was named after a 17th century explorer Louis Hennepin who found the Saint Anthony Falls just downriver. The bridge which opened on January 23rd 1855 was a toll bridge and is believed to be first permanent suspension bridge to cross the Mississippi River anywhere on its course. It was 620 feet long by 17 feet wide with a stone base. The bridge was declared to be the “Gateway to the West”, linking the Atlantic to the Pacific.