UP Bridge #14.09

Steel Stringer Span over Unnamed Creek
Livermore, Humboldt County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name UP Bridge #14.09
Built By Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 78 Feet Total, 22 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Steel Stringer and Trestle
Substructure Type Timber Pile
Date Built After 1973 using a Ca. 1955 Span
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 14.09
Significance Minimal Significance
Documentation Date January 2019
In 1873, the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway began building a branch line from their existing mainline at Vinton, Iowa to Traer.
The line would be extended in 1877 to Holland, 25 miles past Traer.

In 1880, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls & Northwestern Railway began building from Holland to Iowa Falls, another 26 miles.
They continued and reached Clarion the same year.
1881 saw the 58 mile expansion from Clarion to Emmetsburg, and 1882 an additional 50 miles from Emmetsburg to Lake Park, via Estherville.

Lake Park was the terminus of this line, although other branches extended, including one towards Watertown, South Dakota.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls & Northern would be sold to the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern in 1902.

The BCR&N would in turn be sold to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific (Rock Island) in 1903.

The Rock Island was one of the main railroads in Iowa, and their empire nearly doubled after the acquisition of the BCR&N.

However, the Rock Island became a poor railroad by the 1970s. By 1980, the Rock Island would be forced to abandoned their entire empire in Iowa, and liquidate as part of their bankruptcy deal.

This line became chopped up significantly. The Sibley to Lake Park to Estherville segment was purchased by Iowa Northwestern Railway, which would eventually abandoned in 2005.

The Chicago & North Western Railway purchased 3 segments:
Estherville to Goldfield
Clarion to Dows
and Iowa Falls to Alden

The Iowa Northern Railway, who purchased the entire mainline from Cedar Rapids to Manly also purchased the Vinton to Dysart segment, which would be abandoned in 2003.

The C&NW was purchased by Union Pacific in 1995, who now owns the remaining three segments as their Dows and Alden Industrial Leads, as well as their Estherville Subdivision. Portions of the route in Grundy County are known as the Pioneer Trail.

Located east of Livermore, this steel stringer bridge crosses an unnamed creek.
Little is known about the origin of this bridge. The beam span has a stenciling stating 1955, although the span does not appear in 1973 track profiles. It is believed that this bridge was moved here after 1973.
Currently, the bridge consists of a single span steel stringer span, set onto timber pile piers, and approach by trestle spans on either side. The piers are not built of timber cribbing, but instead of a typical timber pile pier.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair condition.

The author has ranked this bridge as being minimally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


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

Widget is loading comments...

© Copyright 2010- John Marvig and Contributors. All Rights Reserved