Project Overview

The former “Ford Site” is now branded “Highland Bridge” and includes 122 acres along the Mississippi River and was the former home of Ford Motor Companies Twin Cities Assembly Plant.  Within those 122 acres, four city-owned parks comprising approximately 9 acres, have been platted and designed.  In addition to the four city-owned parks, there will be privately owned spaces available for public use.

Construction Updates

Construction of Assembly Union Park is well underway. The park, which includes 3 pickleball courts, one basketball court, a large play area with poured in place surfacing, a dog relief area (not off leash dog park), picnic tables and benches will be open in early Summer 2023.  The weather (temps) this spring delayed our start, but the contractors are working hard to get the courts and play areas complete as well as installing furnishings and plantings.  Look for more info on an opening celebration!

Construction of Gateway Park is now complete. The park includes a skate trail, skate bowl, stormwater basins, a storm pond, connections to MRB trail, walking paths and seating.

Uŋči Makhá Park is complete. The park features include a large stormwater channel, a dog park, 2 sand volleyball courts, an adult fitness area, picnic shelter, tables and seating. In addition, the extension of the daylighted stormwater channel south from Uŋči Makhá Park is also being constructed and will be completed soon after the park.  

Mississippi Boulevard Crossing project bridges Mississippi River Boulevard and the trail over the daylighted creek channel.  A stairway from the south plaza of the crossing at the falls will be constructed late spring 2023 to provide a flow through up to the main path on Mississippi River Boulevard.

Update on Míča Park  - University of St. Thomas has purchased the CP Rail site just south of Highland Bridge.  As they have worked with Ryan to develop plans for their athletic facilities, the City is proceeding with master plan amendments, parkland dedication, parkland diversion and platting.  The park area that had been platted before will be replatted and the park locaiton will shift just east of the initial location.  Plans will be developed for the new location of the park aiming for construction in 2024.

Parks Naming

City Council approved names for the four parks at Highland Bridge. See the press release (pdf) for more details. 

Gateway Park reflects the importance of this entry point to the city and to the neighborhood, and also references a gateway in time bridging the past to the future

Assembly Union Park recognizes the site's industrial history and the Ford Motor Company workforce as contributing members of the surrounding communities

Uŋči Makhà Park means “Grandmother Earth” in Dakota. The park includes geography and features that connect people from the developed site to more natural areas including access to Hidden Falls Regional Park. The park links the stormwater system from the neighborhood into the daylighted creek to the falls.

Míča Park reflects both Indigenous Recognition and Local Wildlife. There is a history of coyote families at the Highland Bridge site that come up from the rail site through this area. Míča is the abbreviation for “coyote” in Dakota.


Open House May 2021

Last Edited: May 10, 2023