Wednesday, October 25, 2017

UP/CGW Railroad and Robert Street Bridges over Mississippi in St. Paul, MN

(CGW Bridge Hunter, Robert Bridge Hunter, CGW Historic Bridges, Robert Historic Bridges, CGW John Weeks, Robert John Weeks3D Satellite, Street View)

Once again I do two bridges because they are so close to each other. In fact, at the north end the railroad bridge goes under the road bridge. I learned of these bridges from a lmyers83 Flickr photo.

UP/C&NW/GGW Bridge

Someday I'm going to have to study how the Chicago Great Western Railroad went from Chicago to the Twin Cities. I always thought of the CGW as another railroad that went between Chicago and Omaha. Today it is owned by the Union Pacific since it bought the C&NW in 1995, and the C&NW acquired the CGW in 1969. A predecessor of CGW in this area was the Chicago, St. Paul & Kansas City Railway. [Journal of the Western Society of Engineers, Volume 8, p 437]

John A. Weeks III, looking south from Kellogg Avenue in St. Paul.
This lift bridge was completed in 1912 [Historic Bridges] or in 1913 [Bridge Hunter, John Weeks] to replace a swing bridge (see below). The Waddell and Harrington lift span is 192' long and the girder spans are 70'. Because the bridge is on an angle, the navigation channel width is only 158'. In 1925, the north end was raised 16 feet to tie in with the rail lines that served the Saint Paul Union Depot. [Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges, John Weeks] "In the first decade of the 21st century, this is one of three operating lift bridges on the Mississippi River. The other two are located at Hastings, Minnesota, and Hannibal, Missouri." [John Weeks]

This closeup to catch the engines on the lift span shows the special metal bents mentioned by Historic Bridges that were added to the concrete piers to obtain the 16' lift at the north end. It also shows that the closest pier has been severely eroded by the river.
John A. Weeks III
The first locomotive is "a General Motors EMD model SD40-2 locomotive. It is a diesel-electric locomotive that is able to generate 3,000 horsepower. This unit is an early SD40-2, which was built in late 1972. Nearly 4,000 SD40-2 were built between 1972 and 1986."
Published prior to 1923
Note that the road bridge back then used to be a truss bridge built in 1885.

Published prior to 1923

John Briese posted
Greg Smith added this to Minnesota Railroads page (no photographer info). Too cool not to be here...where it belongs.
Greg Smith posted a B&W version
Ken Zieska What a great lash up of power.
Kirk Brust 1-2-3-4-5-6... It's a CGW thing.
Dennis Kilbride posted
Downtown St Paul Minnesota May 2008 Robert Street Lift Bridge over Mississippi River. Owned and operated by Union Pacific RR.
Leo Walding posted
This post was taken from the website Minnesota Railroads. It is a UP freight traveling over the Mississippi River at downtown St Paul. I have viewed many photos of St Paul railroading but this is my all time favorite.
Dennis commented on his posting
Here's a side pic of it.

Dennis commented on his posting
July 2014 Mississippi was up quite a bit, you can see how high the logs jammed up against it.
Jordan Palmer commented on Dennis' posting
One of my favorite bridges in the Twin Cities, every once in awhile I time it right to catch a towboat passing underneath.
Leo Walding posted
CNW lift bridge. Downtown St. Paul Minnesota spanning Mississippi. Automobile bridge is Robert St. bridge.
John Boots It is the Robert Street Lift Bridge. Originally operated by the Chicago Great Western prior to being taken over by the CNW. Nice Pic.

Bill Neill shared a photo of Marty Bernard's post of three photos of a GN transfer backing across the bridge.
Bart Culbertson Roberts St Bridge ex C&NW / UP bridge over the Mississippi River between St Paul Minneanapolis.
Marty shared his post
Scott Millsap Bill Dobbin good ole’ NW2’s
Bill Dobbin When you must move without a doubt an over tonnage train there Scott... Accept no substitutes.

Robert Street Bridge

John A. Weeks III, downstream (easteren) elevation from the south bank riverwalk

Both road and railroad truss bridges were built in 1885.
Journal of the Western Society of Engineers, Volume 8, p 438
The draw is operated by steam.
Historic Bridges
ca. 1895 Photo of Previous Bridge
Source: Minneapolis Photo Collection of Hennepin County Library
The railroad bridge was replaced in 1913 and the road bridge was replaced in 1926. The road bridge was rehabilitated in 1989 and added to the National Register of Historic Places. The concrete pony arch [Bridge Hunter] or rainbow arch [Historic Bridges, John Weeks] span (navigation channel span) is 264'. The two pony arches are not reinforced with rebar. Instead, a steel arch was built, which was then encased by concrete. [Historic Bridges, John Weeks, Bridge Hunter]
One feature of the bridge is that it appears to fit so well to its surroundings. Perhaps the reason for that is that the bridge was so difficult to fit around all the obstacles at that location. This includes having to be high enough for river boat traffic, low enough to meet the low grade south of the river without having too steep of grade (as required by street cars), it has to be high enough for trains to pass under, yet it had to match the height of Kellogg Blvd. The result is that the bridge design was dictated by each of these constraints. [John Weeks]
John A. Weeks III
The photo above shows a good view of the main span rainbow arch. Notice that there is steel work under the bridge deck to help support the roadway. Also notice the Great Western railroad lift bridge behind the Robert Street Bridge. The railroad bridge was built many years before the Robert Street Bridge.


Kevin Piper posted
Two SOO GP30's cross the Mississippi River at St. Paul, MN, on 8-16-74. PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN

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