Moingona Railroad Bridge

Lost Through Truss Bridge over Des Moines River
Moingona, Boone County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Moingona Railroad Bridge
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago
Currently Owned By None (Bridge has been Removed)
Length 698 Feet Total, 200 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 40 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Parker and Pratt Through Truss with Deck Girder
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Concrete
Date Built 1894
Date Removed 1930
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Removed)
Current Status Removed, Substructures Remain
Significance Moderately Significant
Documentation Date March 2013 (Photos 1-16); November 2017 (Photos 17-18)
A brief history of the Chicago & North Western Iowa Division mainline, now part of the Overland Route:


This is a very famous bridge site! This is where Kate Shelley crawled across the Des Moines River on that stormy 1881 night.
The bridge ruins contain stone and concrete. This bridge was not the original bridge. It was built in 1894 replacing an 1870s one.
The bridge was removed (and possibly reused) in 1930. Today, all that remains are the substructures.
As seen in 1930, the bridge consisted of a large 8-panel pin connected Parker Through Truss, a 6-panel pin connected Pratt Through Truss and a pair of deck girders on either side.
Boone County owns the railroad grade and it is a walking trail today. Beware-it can get muddy!

The author has ranked the bridge as being moderately significant, due to the unique history at this location.
The photo above is looking from the west abutment.

Des Moines River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Kate Shelley High Bridge
Downstream High Trestle Trail Bridge


Source Type


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

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