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CBQ - Des Moines River Covered Bridge


Public Domain: Published Prior to 1923

BH Photo #423540


Was "the longest covered railroad bridge in the world" at the time of its construction.


Lost Howe through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Burlington & Southwestern Railroad
Farmington, Van Buren County, Iowa
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1871; Replaced ca. 1904-6
- Burlington & Southwestern Railroad (B&SW)
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
Howe through truss
Total length: 825.0 ft.
Also called
Burlington & Southwestern - Des Moines River Covered Bridge
Farmington Covered Railroad Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.64220, -91.74652   (decimal degrees)
40°38'32" N, 91°44'47" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/605989/4499794 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
WGCB 15-89-01x (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
BH 65727 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 18, 2022: New photo from Luke
  • December 4, 2021: New photo from Luke
  • April 14, 2018: New photo from Luke
  • January 28, 2015: Added by Luke

Related Bridges 



CB&Q - Des Moines River Covered Bridge
Posted April 14, 2018, by Richard Doody (rpdoody3 [at] gmail [dot] com)


This achievement in RR covered bridge building was later surpassed by this one at Marcus, WA.

The Washington & Great Northern crossed the Columbia on an eight span Howe truss bridge constructed by Porter Brothers Construction Company of Portland. The timber bridge was only the third to cross the American portion of the river and the first to be constructed in a single season. It opened in May 1902. Its construction was the last project that John F. Stevens would oversee before leaving Hill to become chief engineer of the Panama Canal. Its trusses were encased in vertical siding in 1914 making it, at 1200 feet in length, the longest covered bridge ever constructed west of the Mississippi. The railroad planked the deck in 1926 and opened the bridge as a toll crossing for automobiles.It was torn down in 1941 after Grand Coulee Dam closed.

I've only see one picture of it a museum in Colville, WA and scouring the internet has failed to yield any result.