Iowa Falls Rail Crossing (East)

Lost Through Girder Bridge over Union Pacific Railroad
Iowa Falls, Hardin County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Iowa Falls Rail Crossing (East)
Built By Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 159 Feet Total, 75 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder and I-Beam
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built Ca. 1901, Approaches Rebuilt 1941
Date Replaced 2018
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge has been Replaced)
Current Status Replaced
UP Bridge Number 146.80
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date November 2016 (Photos 1-11); May 2018 (Photos 12-15)
In 1913, the St. Paul and Kansas City Short Line Railroad built a line directly between Des Moines, Iowa and Mason City, Iowa.
This route immediately became a part of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. Connecting to St. Paul, Minnesota on the north and Kansas City to the south; the route was known as the Rock Island Spine Line.
Despite the great routing of the line, the Rock Island oftentimes faced financial issues, which led to deferred maintenance of this route.

By the time a judge ordered liquidation of the Rock Island assets, the route was in poor condition. The Chicago & North Western Railway and Soo Line Railroad entered a bidding war to win the Spine Line and its connections to Kansas City.
After the C&NW came out victorious, over a year was spent rebuilding the line to get it back into operating condition. The route opened in 1983, and provided the C&NW with a direct connection to Kansas City.
At Nevada, Iowa; a connection was built to the Clinton Subdivision to allow a connection between major routes. This connection opened up in 1983.
In 1995, the C&NW was purchased by Union Pacific. Today, Union Pacific continues to operate this line as the Mason City Subdivision.

This through girder and I-Beam bridge crosses a former Chicago & Northwestern Line, now Union Pacific in Iowa Falls.
While the main through girder bridge was built in approximately 1901, the original trestle approaches were rebuilt in 1941.
Substructures on the bridge are constructed of concrete. These structures are beginning to show some signs of spalling.
In 2018, the bridge was replaced with a similar modern bridge.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be accessed from US-65.


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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