7 votes

BNSF - Skunk River Bridge


Main Spans

South View

Photo taken by Dylan VanAntwerp in July 2013


BH Photo #368765


Pratt deck truss bridge over Skunk River on BNSF Railway
Rome, Henry County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1899
- King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Burlington Northern Railroad (BN)
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
Pratt deck truss
Length of largest span: 200.0 ft.
Total length: 1,018.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.98405, -91.66057   (decimal degrees)
40°59'03" N, 91°39'38" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/612677/4537849 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Lockridge East
Inventory number
BH 55582 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 31, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • October 26, 2016: New photos from Dylan VanAntwerp
  • November 25, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added build date
  • July 26, 2013: New photos from Dylan VanAntwerp
  • July 24, 2013: Updated by Dylan VanAntwerp: Added category "Burlington Northern Railroad"
  • February 17, 2013: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • February 17, 2013: Added by Luke Harden



BNSF - Skunk River Bridge
Posted October 26, 2016, by John Marvig


I have yet to upload my photos. There was an 1899 plate on the bridge. It almost looked to me like there were several lines of chords on the trusses, and it was originally built massively. In addition, one of the trusses is a different design, and has riveted connections.

BNSF - Skunk River Bridge
Posted October 26, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Looks to me like this bridge's pin-connected spans were enhanced by adding additional pin-connected truss lines to the bridge. I count four total bottom chords, so two are original and two are added. The approach spans that are riveted connections likely date to this project. Photos show scraps of riveted metal and other potential leftovers from this project. What is unclear to me, did this all occur in 1905, and if so, the pin-connected truss spans may be older... or were the extra pin connected truss lines and other aforementioned enhancements added after 1905? Any use of pin-connected design even as part of rehab/retrofit projects would be somewhat unusual after 1905.

BNSF - Skunk River Bridge
Posted November 25, 2015, by tim courtney (timothycourtney [at] gmail [dot] com)

This was the 2nd (or possibly 3rd) bridge for the CBQ's crossing of the Skunk at this location. The original crossing was about 1/4 mile downstream from this one. Crumbles of the original piers can be seen on the Google maps image just downstream.