Little Maquoketa River Trail Bridge #4

Deck Plate Girder Bridge over Little Maquoketa River
Near Graf, Dubuque County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Little Maquoketa River Trail Bridge #4
Built By Chicago Great Western Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Dubuque County
Length 100 Feet Total
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built Ca. 1913
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
CGW Bridge Number 226
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date September 2017
During the spring of 1885, surveyors for the Dubuque & Northwestern Railroad had one goal in mind: find a short route to connect with the Minnesota & Northwestern Railroad Company.

The line was built from Dubuque to Thorpe, Iowa; about 30 miles from the major junction of Oelwein. The line also crossed the Mississippi River on the Illinois Central Bridge heading towards Chicago.

Leaving Dubuque, the line would go through Sageville, Durango, Epsworth and Dyersville before hitting the community of Oneida, right before Thorpe.

At Thorpe, the line connected to Oelwein, which lead to St. Paul or Kansas City.
The line from Oelwein to Thorpe was built the same year. These lines all came under the Chicago Great Western Railway in 1903.

The CGW became part of the Chicago & Northwestern in 1968. The line was abandoned in its entirety in 1980.

Soon after, Dubuque County acquired a portion of the railbeds from Dyersville to Dubuque and created the Heritage Trail, which winds its way around the Little Maquoketa River Valley for 26 miles.

The trail is well maintained and very rich in history.

This standard deck girder bridge crosses the Little Maquoketa River near Graf.
Built in approximately 1913, the bridge contains a single 100 foot long span. This span sits on concrete substructures.
Many similar bridges exist along this route.
Overall, this bridge is in poor condition, with the substructures and superstructures showing serious signs of deterioration.

The author has rated this bridge as being locally significant, due to the small size and common design.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be accessed from the trail it carries.

Little Maquoketa River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Little Maquoketa River Trail Bridge #3
Downstream Little Maquoketa River Trail Bridge #5


Source Type


Build Date Estimated
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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