UP S. Fork Iowa River Bridge

Deck Girder Bridge over S. Fork Iowa River
Near Buckeye, Hardin County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name UP S. Fork Iowa River Bridge
Built By Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 175 Feet Total, 75 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1942
Traffic Count 15 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 139.50
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date September 2017
In 1913, the St. Paul and Kansas City Short Line Railroad built a line directly between Des Moines, Iowa and Mason City, Iowa.
This route immediately became a part of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. Connecting to St. Paul, Minnesota on the north and Kansas City to the south; the route was known as the Rock Island Spine Line.
Despite the great routing of the line, the Rock Island oftentimes faced financial issues, which led to deferred maintenance of this route.

By the time a judge ordered liquidation of the Rock Island assets, the route was in poor condition. The Chicago & North Western Railway and Soo Line Railroad entered a bidding war to win the Spine Line and its connections to Kansas City.
After the C&NW came out victorious, over a year was spent rebuilding the line to get it back into operating condition. The route opened in 1983, and provided the C&NW with a direct connection to Kansas City.
At Nevada, Iowa; a connection was built to the Clinton Subdivision to allow a connection between major routes. This connection opened up in 1983.
In 1995, the C&NW was purchased by Union Pacific. Today, Union Pacific continues to operate this line as the Mason City Subdivision.

This deck girder bridge crosses the South Fork of the Iowa River, near Buckeye.
Built in 1942, the bridge features a trio deck girders. The previous bridge here was of an unknown design. It is unknown if all three girder spans were built in 1942, or just the center span.
Under the structure are concrete substructures. These are in surprisingly 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 a road nearby.


Source Type


Build Date American Bridge Company plaque
Contractor American Bridge Company plaque
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