Hawarden Rail Bridge (North)

Pratt Through Truss Bridge over Big Sioux River
Hawarden, Sioux County, Iowa
To Rural Union County, South Dakota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Hawarden Rail Bridge (North)
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railway
Contractor Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago
Currently Owned By Dakota & Iowa Railroad
Length 585 Feet Total, 135 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Through Truss and Trestle
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Timber Pile
Date Built 1900
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
DAIR Bridge Number T-574
Significance Moderately Significant
Documentation Date January 2016
In 1878, the Sioux City & Pembina Railway built a line from Elk Point, South Dakota to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The line crossed across the Big Sioux a number of times, crossing between Iowa and South Dakota.

The line was merged into the Sioux City and Dakota Railroad in 1879.

By 1881, the line became a branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, also known as the Milwaukee Road.

In 1913, following an escapade to the Pacific Ocean, the railroad became known as the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railway.

Heading north out of Sioux Falls, the Milwaukee Road also operated a branch to North Dakota.

By 1981, with the Milwaukee Road falling to bankruptcy, the Dakota & Iowa (D&I) Railroad was formed as a joint coalition between Iowa and South Dakota to operate the former branch to Sioux City.

Today, D&I continues to operate the line from Sioux Falls to Sioux City, as well as the Dell Rapids branch.

Located north of Hawarden, this truss bridge is one of several crossings of the Big Sioux River along this line, and is located just downstream of the IA-10/SD-46 bridge.
Reportedly built in 1900, the bridge features a 6-panel, pin connected Pratt Through Truss with decorative portal bracing and lightly built up members.
In addition, the bridge is approached by trestle on either side, which have been rebuilt with steel stringer spans. The main span sits on attractive stone piers.
This truss design was a standard design for the Milwaukee Road, with several examples remaining. Typically, these spans were between 100 and 140 feet long, and were built between 1894 and 1900 by Lassig Bridge & Iron Works.
The author has ranked this bridge as moderately significant, due to the standard design and truss design.

The photo above is an overview of the bridge.

Big Sioux River Railroad Bridges
Upstream DAIR Big Sioux River Bridge (Hudson)
Downstream Hawarden Rail Bridge (South)


Source Type


Main Span Build Date Milwaukee Road Bridge Records at the South Dakota State Historical Society
Contractor Based on identical spans
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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