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35th Street Bridge

35th Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: March 20, 2016

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
35th Street Over Railroad (BNSF) (Fort Madison Yard)
Fort Madison: Lee County, Iowa: United States
Structure Type
Metal 11 Panel Pin-Connected Whipple Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Through Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1888 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
255 Feet (77.72 Meters)
Structure Length
615 Feet (187.45 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

2018 Update: John Marvig located primary source materials solving the mystery of when this bridge was built and where it came from. He indicated that the bridge span came from Chicago where it carried the Santa Fe Railroad over the now-filled-in Illinois and Michigan Canal. It was built in 1888 as an original double track structure on that line. In 1934, it was filled in and relocated and reused here.

This bridge is clearly a very ancient, former railroad bridge that was relocated here onto (then) new concrete piers. The stringer layout under the deck confirms its double-track railroad origins. On top of that, its wide width and massive members would not be found on highway bridges from this period. The bridge is assumed to date to the 1880s, based on style. It is thus an extremely rare surviving example of a railroad Whipple truss bridge and thus highly significant as a result.

See this webpage for more information.


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