New Plattsmouth Rail Bridge

Modern Camelback Through Truss Bridge over Missouri River
Pacific Junction, Mills County, Iowa
Plattsmouth, Cass County, Nebraska

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name New Plattsmouth Rail Bridge
Built By BNSF Railway
Contractor Ames Construction of Burnsville, Minnesota
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 1,682 Feet Total, 402 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 50 Feet (Estimated)
Type Camelback Through Truss, Deck Girder and Slab
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built Opened 2013
Traffic Count 25 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status Open to Eastbound Traffic
BNSF Bridge Number 3.80
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date October 2015 and February 2017
In 1868, the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad had reached Creston, Iowa from Ottumwa. The crews used Creston as a point to continue building west.
By 1870, the line would be completed to East Plattsmouth, Iowa. This location was set on the Missouri River.

Just across the river, in Plattsmouth, the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad of Nebraska continued building west.

The railroad reached Ashland by 1870, and Lincoln later that year. The expansion would continue west, ultimately reaching Denver.

The lines were purchased by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in 1875. To the east, the Iowa line connected to Chicago, via Burlington.

By 1880, the CB&Q completed a large bridge across the Missouri River at Plattsmouth, connecting the two lines.

Throughout the early 20th century, the line would be upgraded. In Iowa, many sections were constructed double track between Creston and Pacific Junction.

In Nebraska, the Ashland to Lincoln section was constructed double track in 1910.

The line served as a broader connection, connecting Denver and Chicago.
By 1970, the CB&Q merged with Great Northern and Northern Pacific to form Burlington Northern.
In 1996, BN merged with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe to form BNSF Railway, who currently owns this line.

Presently, the Creston to Lincoln section is known as the Creston Subdivision, and sees a steady traffic base.

The New Plattsmouth Bridge is a stunning compliment to the Old Bridge. Both contain massive 402 foot spans, some of the largest over the Missouri River.
These two massive structures sit parallel to old US-34, now County L-35/Livingston Road.
The bridge was built in response to a single tracked old bridge. The old bridge could no longer safely carry the massive amount of trains this line will see.
As a result, BNSF has decided to construct a modern bridge parallel to the existing bridge. This modern bridge contains similar features, yet looks distinctly different.
The most striking feature is the concrete and steel used in the new structure. The large main span is built considerably more heavy than the older span.
In addition, instead of deck truss spans, deck girder spans serve as approaches. Secondary approaches are formed by modern precast concrete spans. Surprisingly, the same lengths and number of spans were used. This is likely to simplify the construction process.
Presently, the bridge only serves eastbound traffic.
The hope is that the old bridge will continue to serve traffic for many years to come, and compliment this structure.
Views can be had on top of a bluff or from River Road in Nebraska. In Iowa, many views are possible around Karns Road.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the newer age.
The photo above is an overview from Iowa, and the old bridge can be seen behind.

Missouri River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Plattsmouth Rail Bridge
Downstream Nebraska City Rail Bridge


Source Type


Build Date BNSF Railway Updates
Contractor Design Challenges of BNSF Bridge 3.8 over the Missouri River near Plattsmouth, NE
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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