UP Iowa River Bridge (Alden)

Deck Plate Girder Bridge over Iowa River
Alden, Hardin County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name UP Iowa River Bridge (Alden)
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 188 Feet Total, 50 Foot Largest Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder and Steel Stringer
Substructure Type Concrete and Steel Pile
Date Built 1907, Rebuilt 1977
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
C&NW Bridge Number 1187
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date March 2021
A brief history of the Union Pacific Alden Industrial Lead:


Located between Alden and Iowa Falls, this bridge is a shadow of what it was prior to 1977.
It is unknown when the bridge was originally built, however it is believed that the original truss bridge was built in approximately 1895, and the girder span in 1907.
The original configuration of the bridge included a 138-foot Quadrangular Through Truss, constructed by Lassig Bridge & Iron Works; as well as a 50 foot deck girder span on the west end. It is likely that neither of these spans were original to this location, as they sat on newer looking concrete substructures.
In 1977, the truss span was replaced by three I-Beam spans, set on steel piles. It is unfortunate that the truss was removed, as it was one of few historic truss spans in Central Iowa.
Currently, the only historic portion of the bridge is the deck girder on the west side.

The author has ranked the bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design. If the truss was still intact, a much higher rating would be given.
The photo above is an overview.

Iowa River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Dows Rail Bridge
Downstream Iowa Falls Rail Bridge (West)


Source Type


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

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