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

Mičá Park: Plans for the 1.5 acre park near the intersection of Finn and Montreal are currently underway. Prior to the relocation of the park as part of the University of Saint Thomas planting, the final plans for the park included signage, open grass, area for future community garden, furnishings and trees.  The program for the newly sited park will include the same, and also pulls from the priority list created during the community process for the 4 parks at Highland Bridge. The plan currently includes a futsal court, irrigation, open lawn spaces, an area where there can be community gardens if there is a group who is interested in oversight of that, native plantings and trees. An update will be made to the Highland District Council in February.  The park will be under construction in 2024.

Uŋči Makhá Park Public Art

The City has$150K for public art at the Highland Bridge development allocated to public art through the 1% for art requirement.  Marlena Myles and Rory Wakemup were awarded the contract through a selection committee process led by Public Art Saint Paul.  Contracts were completed in 2021 for design, fabrication and installation of art in Unci Makhá Park. The fabrication of sculptural tipis is underway with installation planned in 2024.  Virtual reality and murals are in the design phase and the artist will have that work completed by July 2024.


Assembly Union Park is done. Amenities include three 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.  

Gateway Park is 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 with the exception of public art that is coming this year. The park features include a large stormwater channel, a dog park, 2 sand volleyball courts, an adult fitness area, picnic shelter, tables and seating. 

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 provides a flow through back up to the main path on Mississippi River Boulevard.  This will help with circulation until we have funds to continue with the next phase of connecting into Hidden Falls Regional Park. That timeline is not known.

Park 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 Makhá 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: November 27, 2023