IAIS N. Skunk River Bridge

Deck Plate Girder Bridge over N. Skunk River
Kellogg, Jasper County, Iowa

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Name IAIS N. Skunk River Bridge
Built By Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Iowa Interstate Railroad
Length 216 Feet Total, 110 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built Ca. 1901, West Span Rebuilt Ca. 1945
Traffic Count 5 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
IAIS Bridge Number 315.1
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date May 2017
In 1863, the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad continued construction of a mainline across the center of Iowa. A 31 mile segment from Iowa City to Marengo opened that year.
The next year, another 20 mile segment from Marengo to Brookyln opened. By 1864, the route opened to Kellogg, located in Jasper County.

In 1866, the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad was purchased by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. The Rock Island completed the route into Des Moines by 1867.

While the route continued to Council Bluffs to the west and Chicago to the east, this middle segment of the route was equally as important. It opened up expansion and gave the Rock Island many connections to other railroads.
Due to the popularity of the route, much of it was extensively rebuilt between 1899 and 1901. While most of this segment would never be double tracked, the biggest project was building new bridges.
Despite the efficiency and popularity of this route under Rock Island, the Rock Island began seeing serious financial troubles as soon as the end of World War II. As a result, the railroad entered its final bankruptcy in 1980 and the property was liquidated.

In 1981, the Iowa Railroad Company began operating this line between Council Bluffs and Bureau, Illinois. Despite the birth of a short line railroad, shippers questioned the ability to effectively move goods.
As a result, the Iowa Interstate Railroad was born in 1984. Since the conception, the railroad has become well known and respected in Iowa. Presently, this route is known as the Third Subdivision.

This standard Deck Girder crosses the North Skunk River near Kellogg.
Originally built in approximately 1901, bridge featured 4 spans. In approximately 1945, the west two spans were replaced with a new deck girder span.
The entire bridge rests on concrete substructures, two of which are newer.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design of the bridge.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be accessed from nearby roads.


Source Type


Build Dates Estimated based on similar bridges
Contractor Missing American Bridge Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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