Heritage Trail Truss Bridge

Historic Pratt Truss Bridge on Heritage Trail Rest Stop
Sageville, Dubuque County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Heritage Trail Truss Bridge
Built By Illinois Central Railroad
Contractor Keystone Bridge Company of Pittsburg Pennsylvania
Currently Owned By Dubuque County
Length 98 Feet Total
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground Sits On Ground
Superstructure Type Pin Connected Pratt Through Truss
Date Built 1872, Relocated 1890 and 1992
Original Locations Mississippi River Bridge; Dubuque, Iowa
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
Significance High Significance
Documentation Date September 2017
This bridge is one of four spans that are known to be in existence from the 1872 Dubuque Bridge approach. These spans were all built by Keystone Bridge Company with Phoenix Columns, an early truss bridge engineering marvel.
The pin connected bridge is highly decorative. One of the portals was removed, but is tucked under the bridge for safe keeping.
One other span is at Bergfeld Pond in Dubuque, and was restored in 2007. Two spans are together in Vicksburg, Mississippi as well.
This span is famous, and rightfully so, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a well known point on the Heritage Trail.

This bridge was relocated from a few hundred feet away from Clay Hill Road in 1992 to serve as a rest stop for the Heritage Trail. That trail opened in 1981 on a former Chicago Great Western Railway grade.
Overall, the bridge is in poor condition. Holes from cutting torches were made in some of the historic elements of the bridge. Fortunately, the bridge is not carrying a load.
These spans were built for an approach to the crossing of the Mississippi River in Dubuque by Illinois Central Railroad. These spans were filled and sold at various times. This one was sold to Dubuque County in 1890, and may have been the last one built.
The relocation history of the bridge is not uncommon for railroads. When the span was sold in 1890, it was likely in very good condition.

The author has ranked this bridge as being highly significant, due to the unique relocation and reuse history; as well as the 1872 age and the overall historic nature of the bridge.
The photo above is looking from the Heritage Trail. It can be accessed from the trail which is alongside it.


Source Type


Build Date National Register of Historic Places information
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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