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Rock Island - Bridge #2106


Abandoned DPG Bridge over Flat Creek on inactive railroad
Benton County, Missouri
Intact but closed to all traffic
- Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP (1866-1920); RI (1920-1975) ROCK (1975-1980))
- Southern Pacific Railroad (SP)
- St. Louis Southwestern Railway (SSW)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Deck plate girder
Span length: 40.0 ft.
Total length: 40.0 ft.
Also called
Rock Island - Flat Creek bridge
RI - Flat Creek Bridge
CMR - Flat Creek Bridge
CRI&P - Flat Creek Bridge
Cotton Belt Flat Creek Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.50781, -93.41661   (decimal degrees)
38°30'28" N, 93°24'60" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/463676/4262242 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Green Ridge South
Inventory number
BH 58842 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 4, 2016: Updated by Kelly McClanahan: Added category "Rock Island Rail Trail"
  • November 20, 2013: Updated by Dylan VanAntwerp: Added categories "Southern Pacific Railroad", "St. Louis Southwestern Railway", "Union Pacific Railroad"
  • November 19, 2013: Added by Clark Vance


  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com
  • Dylan VanAntwerp - dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com


Rock Island - Bridge #2106
Posted July 22, 2017, by Anonymous

Cotton Belt was the nickname of the St. Louis Southwestern.

Rock Island - Bridge #2106
Posted July 22, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The alternate name of "Cotton Belt Flat Creek Bridge" mystifies me. Cotton Belt? Anyone?

Rock Island - Bridge #2106
Posted August 4, 2016, by Kelly McClanahan

Soon to be at least in the future, the line will be the MORIT, Missouri Rock Island Rail Trail.

Rock Island RR Bridge #2106
Posted November 21, 2013, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

Pardon me for causing any confusion in my earlier post. Should have read: there is no Missouri Central Railroad currently.

Missouri Central Railroad
Posted November 21, 2013, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

The Missouri Central Railroad was an extremely brief predecessor of today's Central Midland Railway, which is owned by the Indiana Railroad. Info on the railroad is pretty scarce, but it looks like they leased the former Rock Island line with the intent to bring the whole line back into service eventually. I am not sure who they leased the line from, but it either would have been Union Pacific or Ameren UE.

This operation appears to have been rather short-lived and was taken over by the Indiana Railroad, which created the current day Central Midland to run the line. It looks like between the two companies that modest rebuilding of the line on the east end has been accomplished. However, due to lack of traffic, CMR may abandon much of their operation if the Wikipedia entry is indeed trustworthy.

Rock Island RR Bridge #2106
Posted November 20, 2013, by Katy fan

There are actually several trails built on former Katy lines whose names are are "MKT Trail" or "M-K-T Trail" and are completely seperate from the Katy Trail.

Rock Island RR Bridge #2106
Posted November 20, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)


Thanks for the link to the RI maps and the number for this bridge.

You might guess I have been dealing with what to name bridges that don't have a common name. Often they are so ordinary that people don't refer to them, or if they do it's when giving directions e.g. "First right after the railroad bridge." When the name of the line is highly visible locals may talk about "past the Kansas City Southern bridge." Until encountering the railfans here I had not heard of reporting marks and certainly never heard anyone refer to a bridge using a reporting mark.

Visiting this site can encourage people to get excited about preserving historic bridges. I think most of the hits from non-regular visitors come from people looking for a bridge they remember. Using the most common name for a bridge makes it easier for "outside" searchers to find that favorite bridge and thus spark an interest in preservation.

With bridges such as this one, I doubt anyone ever gave it a name. It's not likely that anyone will search for it by name, even if it had one. In such a case either naming it for the line it carries, the feature it crosses, or using the railroad number makes the most sense to me.

A trend I hope declines is the tendency to replace common names with technical ones. An example is the Katy Trail. When I was young I spent time in my father's home town of Parsons, KS. The railroad there was the Katy. I saw the MKT on cars and bridges but everyone spoke only of "The Katy." I think it makes it harder for site visitors to find bridges when the "Katy Trail Bridge" is changed to "MKT Trail Bridge." No one anywhere along the route ever refers to it as the MKT Trail. I hate to think people couldn't find the old Rock Island 5th Street bridge because the name has been "corrected" to the RI 5th Street bridge.

The forum is a great place for us to work out a consensus on how names should be applied to bridges. I tend to assume the person who adds the bridge knows what it is called either through first hand knowledge or research. I will not change a name unless it's clear that the information is incomplete, for example I may change "Unknown Railroad bridge" to the name of the railroad if I find it documented. I hope we can informally arrive at a common practice that will maximize the usefulness of this site.

Rock Island RR Bridge #2106
Posted November 20, 2013, by Marc


Several railroads that ran through the area I live in simply referred to their bridges based on the mile post they were located at. Thus, rail fans or bridge geeks might consider the bridge shown below as the Golah Bridge, Honeoye Creek Bridge, Erie Rochester Div. Br., etc. But to the Bridge Dep't, it was simply Bridge #370.58.

I have pictures of a few hundred bridges that aren't shown on Bridge Hunter, but I've shied away from sending them in just for the reason you mentioned: Too many know-it-alls who interfere with other people's submissions instead of just sticking to their own knowledge or area they live in. And the bickering over it is nauseating.

Perhaps the Bridge Hunter owner could think of a way to clamp down on it in next yea'r batch of new features. Addition by subtraction is good some times.

Rock Island RR Bridge #2106
Posted November 20, 2013, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Googled Missouri Central Railroad.

http://www.missouri-central.railfan.net/ was the first site I clicked on. It certainly looks like there was a railroad called Missouri Central Railroad. What am I missing?

Rock Island Bridge #2106
Posted November 20, 2013, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

I added info and changed the name to the official Rock Island name for the bridge. However, since Clark is the person who added the bridge, I defer to his judgment as to the final name for the entry.

Flat Creek bridge name and some thoughts on nomenclature nonsense
Posted November 20, 2013, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

Actually, there is no Missouri Central railroad. Right now the small, active portion of the line from St. Louis to Union is leased and operated by the Central Midland Railway from Ameren UE. As Central Midland has nothing to do with the western half of the line, it's really not appropriate to call this a CMR bridge. If you want the official Rock Island name for the bridge, it was Bridge #2106. As the vast majority of the line never saw anything other than a tiny handful of Southern Pacific traffic post-Rock Island, it seems to me the most fitting railroad to include in any name for any of these abandoned bridges would naturally be the Rock Island.

As far as some of the squabbling goes about RR bridge names, I would like to share a few thoughts. Let me share an experience I had several months earlier to enlighten the situation. Last year I was out driving in NE Iowa by the small town of Randalia, when I stumbled across a the remnants of a small Rock Island bridge torn out years ago. I stopped, investigated the area, took a few pictures, then submitted them to the website.

Because the small creek/ditch had no name on any maps I looked at, I chose to name the entry the RI Randalia Bridge. Yet, somebody felt it was their duty to rename my entry within seconds to RI Unnamed Stream Bridge. It was a simple thing, yet it still annoyed me. I had to re-edit the name of the bridge several times, fighting a pathetic battle with whatever individual was so doggedly determined to change this name to whatever they thought was "proper".

Can I say that I feel like some people on this website are WAY too anal retentive about certain things? It seems some people want to have a fit if they don't feel like the right reporting marks and body of water info are used. I think the whole use of unnamed stream needs to be dropped completely. Have you ever heard anybody in their entire life refer to a bridge as Unnamed Stream Bridge? It sounds ridiculous.

Furthermore, not every bridge ever built was named after the body of water it crosses. If a bridge doesn't have a name, name it! That's what I did with the RI Randalia entry. The bridge was in the city limits, after all. There is always something relevant nearby, even if it isn't the body of water itself. Is that such a big deal? I've been so brazen as to actually give a name to a pathetic little stream rather than call it "unnamed stream bridge".

Some of you get way to edit happy with other entries. If there is something obviously wrong, fix it! If there is info you can add,add it! If you don't like the reporting marks they used because you feel they aren't the correct ones (CSX vs CSXT, RI vs CRIP), get a life! If the name doesn't strike your fancy, remember you weren't the one who walked through thorn bushes to photograph it in the first place!

CMR Bridge xxx.x (Former Rock Island xxx.x)
Posted November 19, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Re: The name

Locals refer to this railroad as the Rock Island and not RI. Locals seldom know or use reporting marks to refer to landmarks.

Technically, this is the Central Missouri Railroad. People do not refer to it as that locally.

I doubt locals refer to this bridge much at all, so there's probably not a commonly used local name.

In the case of there being no local name for a railroad bridge I suggest we give it the name used by the railroad. I hope someone who is knowledgeable about this line can supply the proper name for this bridge.