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MILW - Madrid High Bridge (1913)



BH Photo #237882


This large steel trestle was built in 1913 and served into the 1970s, before the Saylorville Reservoir project necessitated its removal ca. 1973. The bridge's concrete footing pads and steel towers were not designed for submergence, which would happen when high waters backed up the channel. The Iowa Corps of Engineers constructed a new DPG bridge atop large, modern concrete piers designed to allow for inundation. One of the original bridge's concrete abutments was left in place, and today it functions as a lookout platform for viewing the current day High Trestle Trail Bridge.


Lost Deck truss bridge over Des Moines River on former Milwaukee Road
Boone County, Iowa
Replaced by new bridge
Built 1913 as a double track bridge, relegated to single track in 1934, replaced in 1973
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW)
17 x 40ft deck plate girder
20 x 70ft deck plate girder
2 x 156.5ft riveted deck truss
Length of largest span: 156.0 ft.
Total length: 2,394.0 ft. (0.5 mi.)
Also called
MILW Bridge #Z-1154
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.86676, -93.86882   (decimal degrees)
41°52'00" N, 93°52'08" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/427896/4635347 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 52368 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 24, 2022: New photos from Dave King
  • November 16, 2022: New photos from Dave King
  • May 21, 2022: Updated by Dylan VanAntwerp: Added dimensions/design description from Railway Age Gazette May, 1913, edition
  • October 5, 2013: New photo from Dylan VanAntwerp
  • July 12, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Des Moines River"
  • January 2, 2013: New photos from Luke Harden
  • August 21, 2012: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
  • June 24, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added build date
  • May 5, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad"

Related Bridges 


  • Luke
  • Jacob P. Bernard
  • Dylan VanAntwerp - dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com