7 votes

BNSF - Rock Island Bridge


Photo taken by Aaron Hockley

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)


View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #280037



Through truss bridge over Columbia River on single track of BNSF Railway in Rock Island
Rock Island, Douglas County, Washington, and Chelan County, Washington
Open to traffic
Originally built for the Great Northern Railway in 1892, the main span was reinforced in 1925
- Edge Moor Bridge Works of Wilmington, Delaware
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Great Northern Railway (GN)
Pennsylvania through truss with a Camelback profile
Length of largest span: 416.5 ft.
Total length: 875.2 ft.
Also called
Rock Island Railroad Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.36686, -120.15372   (decimal degrees)
47°22'01" N, 120°09'13" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/714897/5249861 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
669 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 38536 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 30, 2017: New photos from Dave Cox
  • May 6, 2014: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added builder
  • March 19, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Double-trussed"

Related Bridges 


  • Wikipedia - Rock Island Railroad Bridge
  • Luke
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Dave Cox


Re: BNSF - Rock Island Bridge
Posted May 7, 2014, by Matt Lohry

Definitely ranks at the top of the scale of coolness for me too, and I really like the deck truss span with the polygonal lower chord too!

BNSF - Rock Island Bridge
Posted May 6, 2014, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Extremely unique and unusual structure...I like it too!

BNSF - Rock Island Bridge
Posted May 6, 2014, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I hereby rate this bridge as extreme weirdness. And I like it.

Rock Island Railroad Bridge
Posted March 27, 2009, by Steven Featherkile (sfeatherkile [at] wildblue [dot] net)

The Great Northern Railway needed a stronger bridge to carry the heavier traffic and locomotives that were being used at the time. Rather than build a temporary bridge while this one was rebuilt, it was decided to build the stronger bridge on the outside of the original bridge. Railroad traffic was never stopped. This is one of the most interesting bridges I've ever seen, especially from a boat underneath. It is strangely handsome, it a brutish sort of way.