RCP&E Pierre Street Bridge

Through Plate Girder Bridge over Pierre Street
Pierre, Hughes County, South Dakota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name RCP&E Pierre Street Bridge
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad
Length 110 Feet Total, 36 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 11 Feet 3 Inches
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder and I-Beam
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Steel Tower
Date Built 1907
Traffic Count 3 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
RCP&E Bridge Number 301 1/4
Significance Local Significance
In 1879, the Dakota Central Railway began construction of a route between the South Dakota state line near Brookings and Pierre, located on the Missouri River.
Completed in 1880, the route provided the original Winona & St. Peter mainline in Minnesota with an outlet to the west.
Work stopped at the Missouri River, due to a treaty not allowing settlement on a reservation west of the Missouri River. However, this was repealed in 1905, and the line later extended.
By 1900, the route became part of the Winona & St. Peter Railroad, which was immediately merged into the Chicago & North Western Railway.

From 1900 until 1986, the line changed very little. It was important to the growth of Eastern South Dakota, and provided a launching point for a line between Pierre and Rapid City.
In 1986, C&NW proposed abandoning the route. A group of politicians stepped in and secured the line for future use, turning it over to the newly formed Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad.
DM&E operated this route with a high level of success until 2008, when they would be purchased by Canadian Pacific Railway. CP in turn spun the route west of Tracy, Minnesota off to the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad in 2014.
Today, this route is the core of the RCP&E mainline in South Dakota. It is believed that it will continue to be operated for a long term future.

This small through girder bridge crosses Pierre Street in downtown Pierre, near the State Capitol.
Consisting of a pair of through girder spans, the bridge was built in 1907. In addition to the main spans, the bridge was approached by I-Beam spans.
In addition, the bridge sits on stone abutments and steel piers.
Overall, the bridge remains in good condition.

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 the road below.


Source Type


Build Date Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad bridge report
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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