By 1877, the railroad would become part of the Dubuque and Minnesota Railway. At the same time, the Chicago, Clinton, Dubuque & Minnesota Railroad would build an additional 30 miles west to Wadena, Iowa.
In 1878, the CCD&M purchased the D&M. The railroad would be completed to West Union by the end of the year.
By 1880, the route would become a part of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, who had obtained and built a large amount of track throughout the area.
However, this short branch line was not profitable, as it ran parallel to another route through Postville. As a result, the entire route was abandoned in 1937.
Today, most has been completely removed, although roads still use some sections of the tracks.
Located near Wadena, this unique truss bridge has continued to stand, despite the railroad having been abandoned in 1938.
Built in 1882 at Bridge #Z-312 (Rock River; Byron, Illinois), this bridge is one of four spans known to have been reused when that bridge was replaced in 1905. Other spans continue to exist at Downsville, Wisconsin and Lanesboro, Minnesota. The fourth span was originally built at Good Thunder, Minnesota; prior to being replaced by the current bridge. The current disposition of that span is unknown, but it has likely been scrapped.
The design of the bridge is particularly unique. It features a large skewed 8-panel pin connected Pratt Through Truss. This truss features a lattice portal, and is rather decorative. The bridge was installed here in 1905, according to the Fayette County Engineers records and railroad blueprints.
The bridge rests on concrete substructures. Upon abandonment, the bridge was purchased by the county, and it now serves as Fox Road.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition. With continued maintenance, this historic bridge should last for many more years.
The author has ranked the bridge as being highly significant, due to the unique truss design and extensive history. It is hoped this bridge will be preserved long term.
The photo above is an overview.