Little Maquoketa River Trail Bridge #7

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

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Name Little Maquoketa River Trail Bridge #7
Built By Chicago Great Western Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Dubuque County
Length 210 Feet Total, 70 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1913
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date April 2018
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.

Located along US-52 near Sageville, this bridge through girder span crosses the Little Maqoketa River.
Likely built in 1913, the bridge contains a trio of through girder spans. This bridge sits on concrete substructures.
Many similar bridges exist along this route.
Overall, this bridge is in fair condition, with the substructures and superstructures showing early signs of deterioration.

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

Little Maquoketa River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Durango Trail Bridge
Downstream DM&E Little Maqoketa River Bridge.


Source Type


Build Date Based on identical bridges
Contractor Missing American Bridge Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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