7 votes

Inter-Urban Trail Bridge


Interurban Trail Bridge

From West Bank

Photo taken by John Marvig in July 2012


BH Photo #258655


Street View 


Pratt through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Interurban Trail
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa
Open to pedestrians
Built 1905, Abandoned 1982; Converted to trail use 1998, repaired 2012
- Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW)
- Des Moines & Central Iowa Railway (DCI; DMCI)
- Inter-Urban Railway Co.
- Interurban
1 Span I-Beam (Non Authentic)
4 - 127' Pratt Through Truss Spans
4 Spans Trestle (non authentic)
Length of largest span: 127.0 ft.
Total length: 615.0 ft.
Also called
DCI - Wakonsa Bridge (Old Nickname)
Wakonsa Bridge (Old Nickname)
Wakonsa Bridge (Old Nickname)
DCI - Des Moines River Bridge
ITU - Des Moines River Bridge
Inter-Urban Trail - Des Moines River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.62444, -93.64443   (decimal degrees)
41°37'28" N, 93°38'40" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/446317/4608280 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Des Moines SW
Inventory number
BH 49355 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 13, 2021: New photo from Luke
  • April 4, 2014: New Street View added by Luke Harden
  • July 4, 2013: Updated by John Marvig: Corrected Build Date-Bridge was built 1905, NOT 1902
  • June 21, 2013: New photo from Michael O'Brien
  • June 12, 2013: New photo from Michael O'Brien
  • December 9, 2012: Updated by John Marvig: trestle approaches replaced this fall
  • October 21, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Interurban"
  • July 22, 2012: Updated by John Marvig: Added information after seeing up close
  • July 2, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added abandonment date to history
  • June 26, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Des Moines & Central Iowa Railroad "
  • May 11, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Rail-to-trail", "Des Moines & Central Iowa Railroad "
  • August 15, 2011: Added by Luke Harden



Inter-Urban Trail Bridge
Posted January 13, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Noting that this bridge was built by a small interurban, it appears that the trusses on this bridge are actually older than 1905. It also seems that there are two different designs on this structure.

This bridge:


was built by a major railroad but purchased and moved by a small electric railroad. It appears a similar situation may have happened here, and further research will be conducted.

Interurban Trail Bridge
Posted July 4, 2013, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)

Photos #70 and #71 are incorrectly placed. Note the difference in portal bracing. These belong on this page.


Interurban Trail Bridge
Posted December 9, 2012, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)


Repaired recently, including the replacement of the trestle approaches. Looking at the westernmost pier, I can see why the piers were repaired.