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Dubuque Railroad Bridge

Illinois Central Bridge W182

Dubuque Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 11, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Canadian National) Over Mississippi River
Location
Dubuque and East Dubuque: Dubuque County, Iowa and Jo Daviess County, Illinois: United States
Structure Type
Metal Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed (Rim Bearing Center Pier) and Approach Spans: Metal 10 Panel Pin-Connected Camelback Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1899 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
2012
Main Span Length
350 Feet (107 Meters)
Structure Length
1,535 Feet (468 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 5 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

Historic railroad bridges on the Mississippi River are at risk. Most are swing bridges. They face a threat from the coast guard that wants to eliminate their center pier from the river by replacing with other movable types like vertical lift bridges. Also, because of the limited number of crossings, those that do exist usually carry a lot of trains are are at risk for alteration or replacement from railroads wanting to run taller and faster trains over them. This bridge is an excellent example of the risk the bridges face. The beautiful Camelback approach spans that lead up to this bridge's swing span have been severely altered. All pin connections have been turned into bolted connections by the addition of gusset plates. This messy alteration drastically changed the appearance of the bridge. However, given that some of these bridges have been totally demolished and replaced, one probably shouldn't complain too much. However, the swing span may be at risk for replacement. It was not altered like the approach spans even though its construction is similar. This may suggest they are preparing for a separate project to demolish and replace the swing span completed. As the most historically significant component of the bridge this would be a devastating loss.

The previous bridge here dated to 1869. Some sources say that regarding the bridge seen today was erected piecemeal (replacing the previous bridge); claims are that the swing span was erected in 1892 but the approach spans were not erected until 1899. Other sources say the whole bridge was built in 1899.

HistoricBridges.org currently only has a small selection of overview photos for this bridge.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Dubuque Railroad Bridge

 
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A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Dubuque Railroad Bridge

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