Durango Trail Bridge

Through Plate Girder Bridge over Little Maquoketa River
Durango, Dubuque County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Durango Trail Bridge
Built By Chicago Great Western Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Dubuque County
Length 195 Feet Total, 65 Foot Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1913
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date September 2017 and April 2018
During the spring of 1885, surveyors for the Dubuque & Northwestern Railroad had one goal in mind: find a short route to connect with the Minnesota & Northwestern Railroad Company.

The line was built from Dubuque to Thorpe, Iowa; about 30 miles from the major junction of Oelwein. The line also crossed the Mississippi River on the Illinois Central Bridge heading towards Chicago.

Leaving Dubuque, the line would go through Sageville, Durango, Epsworth and Dyersville before hitting the community of Oneida, right before Thorpe.

At Thorpe, the line connected to Oelwein, which lead to St. Paul or Kansas City.
The line from Oelwein to Thorpe was built the same year. These lines all came under the Chicago Great Western Railway in 1903.

The CGW became part of the Chicago & Northwestern in 1968. The line was abandoned in its entirety in 1980.

Soon after, Dubuque County acquired a portion of the railbeds from Dyersville to Dubuque and created the Heritage Trail, which winds its way around the Little Maquoketa River Valley for 26 miles.

The trail is well maintained and very rich in history.

This bridge is the 6th crossing of the Little Maquoketa River on the Heritage Trail. It is located directly in the village of Durango.
The bridge suffered minor damage from the floods of 2008. The western span had a builders plaque on it in 2013, but was gone by 2017.
The bridge is built on concrete substructures. These are starting to show signs of age, such as severe spalling. .
Decking on the bridge was reconstructed in approximately 2016, and is very fresh.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design,
The photo above is looking from the depot yard.

Little Maquoketa River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Little Maquoketa River Trail Bridge #5
Downstream Little Maquoketa River Trail Bridge #7


Source Type


Build Date American Bridge Company plaque
Contractor American Bridge Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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