5 votes

IANR - Cedar River Bridge


West View

High water kept me from getting much while I was here.

Photo taken by Dylan VanAntwerp in June 2013


BH Photo #269772



Pony/through plate girder bridge over Cedar River on Railroad
Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1905; Deck plate girder added 1960; One 1905 through plate girder destroyed by derailment May 28th, 1970 and replaced with a timber trestle; Timber trestle replaced with a precast concrete trestle 2014
- Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway (BCRN)
- Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP (1866-1920); RI (1920-1975) ROCK (1975-1980))
- Iowa Northern Railway (IANR)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
205' Precast Concrete Box Girder
3 x 88' TPG
2 x 100' TPG
1 x 45' DPG
11 Panel Open Deck Pile Trestle (167')
Length of largest span: 100.0 ft.
Total length: 908.0 ft.
Also called
Rock Island Bridge #1031
IANR Bridge #103.1
RI - Cedar River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.02808, -91.73977   (decimal degrees)
42°01'41" N, 91°44'23" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/604324/4653661 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Cedar Rapids North
Inventory number
BH 51933 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 14, 2019: New photos from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • July 20, 2016: Updated by Luke: Edited history section per forum comment
  • November 2, 2014: Posted photos from Benjamin Hucker
  • November 8, 2013: New photos from Dylan VanAntwerp
  • September 8, 2013: Updated by Dylan VanAntwerp: Added category "Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway"
  • June 15, 2013: New photos from Dylan VanAntwerp
  • October 5, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added build date(s) & span info
  • October 4, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Removed plurality form title as the piers were most likely for an old road bridge
  • April 4, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Railroad", "Union Pacific Railroad", "Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad", "Iowa Northern Railroad"
  • April 3, 2012: Added by Jason Smith


  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • Luke
  • 1950s arial imagery
  • Dylan VanAntwerp - dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com
  • Melissa Brand-Welch - melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com


IANR - Cedar River Bridge
Posted September 13, 2019, by Luke

Image of the derailment for Melissa to grab: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/552061757/

IANR - Cedar River Bridge
Posted April 17, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


You were lucky because you actually got to see the pre-stressed box beams before they were installed... you can see in your photos how they are hollow inside (hence the "box" designation). You can also see in your photos that before they are erected, they are individual beams, although if they are lined up on the bridge right beside each other (called Adjacent Box Beams) they have the appearance of a slab after being erected. This type of bridge is often called a Pre-Stressed Concrete Adjacent Box Beam (or girder) bridge. In dealing with historic bridges as those seen on this website, "concrete slab" typically refers to a traditional reinforced concrete structure with rebar inside, which is a poured concrete slab, rather than precast beams arranged to form a slab-like structure.

IANR - Cedar River Bridge
Posted April 17, 2018, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

What is the correct terminology for the precast concrete structure that replaced the west approach trestle on this bridge? I have seen these referred to as concrete box girders. Is this the correct designation? What is the difference between these and a concrete slab bridge or a concrete stringer?

IANR - Cedar River Bridge
Posted January 28, 2018, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I drove past once but didn't stop. Looks like you can just park along the shoulder and get out.

IANR - Cedar River Bridge
Posted January 28, 2018, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)


is one able to park along the new highway? It certainly would seem to make getting this bridge easier.

IANR - Cedar River Bridge
Posted January 28, 2018, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This bridge is now much more accessible with the completion of Highway 100/Collins Road.

IANR - Cedar River Bridge
Posted July 20, 2016, by Peter Schierloh (forthbrdge [at] aol [dot] com)

The stone pier that used to rest under the old north approach trestle used to support a fourth TPG span. A derailment in the 1970's on the CRIP destroyed the TPG span and severely damaged the pier. The CRIP replaced the TPG span with a open deck pile trestle that they tied into an existing approach trestle that also received some damage in the derailment. I have a copy of the newspaper article on the derailment somewhere, if I find it I will try to post it.

The damage from the derailment and the hasty construction of the replacement trestle resulted in significant settlement problems with the timber trestle, so the IANR replaced the north approach trestle with a BNSF/UP joint standard precast concrete trestle. To satisfy the DNR hydraulic requirements, the stone pier was removed when the trestle was reconstructed.

IANR Cedar River Bridge
Posted September 8, 2013, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)


I think the unused stone pier under the approach is from the flood of 1960 (when the girder was built), as that flood created problems in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Just a guess.