The line in Iowa was completed at a majority by 1885. The route crossed the Mississippi River from Savanna to Sabula, Iowa on a large swing bridge between the two towns.
The line quickly turned south, paralleled the Mississippi River through Clinton, Davenport and Muscatine. Then the line turned southwest, crossing the Cedar and Iowa rivers near Conesville before arriving in Washington, where it crossed a Rock Island line towards Des Moines.
From here, it continued southwest, crossing the Skunk River before arriving in Ottumwa, where it would cross the Des Moines River, and a pair of rail lines.
Continuing on the same southwest trajectory, the line would cross a Rock Island line near Moravia. The line became increasingly hilly and curvy as it approached the Missouri border near Sewal.
By 1887, the Milwaukee Road reached Kansas City; crossing through Missouri and such towns as Chillicothe.
The CM&StP became the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific in 1912 with newly completed Pacific Extension. By 1931, the Rock Island Railroad requested trackage rights along this line between Polo and Lawson, Missouri; as well as from Mosby to Kansas City.
The 1887 Choteau Bridge over the Missouri River was replaced in 1945 by the present Harry S. Truman Bridge.
The line was considered a mainline, connecting to Kansas City to Davenport and Chicago. Few changes were ever seen on the line, although the major one was in 1981. The Milwaukee Road purchased the former Rock Island alignment between Muscatine and Washington and scrapped their own. The Rock Island had fallen the year before.
In 1985, the Milwaukee Road was purchased by Soo Line, who operated the line until 1997 when they sold it to I&M Rail Link. The line then changed hands again in 2002 when Iowa, Chicago & Eastern purchased it, and IC&E was purchased by Canadian Pacific along with Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern in 2008.
Canadian Pacific currently operates this line, although they have continued to explore potential buyers. The line still connects Chicago to Kansas City.
Located west of Gladwin, this standard concrete slab bridge crosses County Road W66.
Built in 1907, the bridge features a standardized concrete slab, which could also be characterized as a box culvert. This span rests on concrete substructures.
These types of spans were commonly used for creeks and underpasses, due to their ease of construction.
Overall, this bridge appears to be in fair condition, with minor deteriorations throughout the structure. Most of these types of bridges fail relatively quickly. It is unknown who currently owns the bridge, although it could either be in county, private or railroad possession.
The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.