Wednesday, November 2, 2016

UP/CGW Bridge over Des Moines River in Fort Dodge, IA

(Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges, John MarvigSatellite)
This massive railroad bridge is considered the second largest bridge in the state of Iowa. The extremely long length of the bridge, combined with rare multi-span pin-connected Baltimore deck truss spans, and the age of this 1903 bridge make it an extremely significant engineering achievement that is both historically and technologically significant. [Historic Bridges]
John Marvig's link has a nice history of the railroad that built this bridge.

The other long trestle bridge over the Des Moines River, Kate Shelly Bridge, has been replaced.

So C&NW did not tear up all of the CGW routes after they bought them. The UP uses this bridge today at 10mph. The longest span is 219' and the total length is 2,719. [Bridge Hunter] Historic Bridges points out that this bridge is just a little smaller and newer than the Kate Shelley Bridge, but it has four truss spans instead of just one. And the trusses are rare pin-connected Baltimore deck trusses.

Andrew Motley posted
Fort Dodge High Bridge! Built 1902 by the Mason City and Fort Dodge Railway, later Chicago Great Western now used by Union Pacific Railroad!! It’s got a 10mph Speed limit!!
Gerrad Hall Getting ready to re deck that bridge shortly.
[Even the cut-stone piers look rusty.]
Andy W comment in Bridge Hunter
Built in 1901 by a Chicago Great Western subsidiary, the Mason City & Fort Dodge Railway, as part of their Council Bluffs extension. Now owned by the UP.

Street View
[Most of the trestle extends to the left out-of-frame.]
Street View

Street View

Berne Ketchum posted
This looks like a meat train — maybe No 192? eastbound across a bridge somewhere in western Iowa, I think. Does anyone else recognize the bridge? The F units had the striping and were nice and shiny, so this must have been around 1950.
Matt Holman Eastbound at Fort Dodge- the lead tracks of the Illinois Central yard can be seen below.
Matt Holman Still used daily by the Union Pacific- they operate this line from Clarion to Moorland, via Fort Dodge and Eagle Grove.
Larger piers and a truss is used over the river itself, which would be in the distance in this picture. I spotted a couple of dams in the area, so the river must descend rather rapidly through the town.

Andrew Motley posted
Deck truss bridge over Des Moines River on railroad
Fort Dodge, Webster County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1902 by the Mason City and Fort Dodge Railway, later Chicago Great Western
- American Bridge Co. of New York (Superstructure)
- Bates & Rogers Construction Co. of Chicago, Illinois (Substructure)
- H.C. Keith (Chief Engineer)
- Kelly-Atkinson Construction Co. of Chicago, Illinois (Erection)
- Chicago Great Western Railway (CGW)
- Mason City & Fort Dodge Railway (MC&FtD)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
11 Spans Deck Plate Girder supported on steel towers
4-219' Pinned Baltimore Deck truss spans
19 Spans Deck Plate Girder supported on steel towers
Length of largest span: 219.0 ft.
Total length: 2,719.0 ft. (0.5 mi.)
Also called
Fort Dodge Viaduct
Chicago Great Western High Bridge

James Rogers posted two photos with the comment: "I was at a car show in Fort Dodge Iowa this fall. A westbound ethanol crawled across the high bridge. I myself have been over this bridge. 2017"


Marty Bernard shared
6. CGW Viaduct looking west, Council Bluffs, IA in October 1963. Walt Dunlap photo
Rob Leachman Is this Fort Dodge rather than Council Bluffs?
[It has the inverted V bents and Baltimore trusses of the Fort Dodge Bridge. And CGW did not go to Council Bluffs.]

A 1980 photo (source)

Andrew Motley posted six photos. [A comment notes that there is not much water in the river.]

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