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CNW - Cedar River Bridge (Old)


Photo provided by The Cedar Rapids Gazette

View this photo at cedarrapids.advantage-preservation.com

BH Photo #442947



Build date provided by C&NW bridge records at the Chicago & North Western Railway Historical Society archives. This bridge matches several spans in South Dakota and Wyoming known to be installed there in approximately 1930, and may be the original location of those spans.


Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Cedar River on Chicago & North Western Railway
Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1887; Replaced 1927
- Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW)
Quadrangular lattice through truss
Length of largest span: 160.0 ft.
Total length: 800.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.94568, -91.63518   (decimal degrees)
41°56'44" N, 91°38'07" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/613128/4644645 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 84297 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 23, 2019: Updated by John Marvig: Added information from C&NW Bridge Records
  • January 26, 2019: New photo from Luke



CNW - Cedar River Bridge (Old)
Posted January 26, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Big kudos to Luke on this one. There are/were 10 trusses of this design (all 1598 with a flat topped pedimented portal bracing) that were moved to South Dakota and Wyoming in 1927/1928. While a historic bridge report for the railroad in SD listed all 8 of the trusses there as being from Winona, Minnesota, only five of this size were built in Winona. This had been stumping me for over a year.

The replacement bridge for this structure has 10 spans of deck girder for a total length of just over 798 feet, or when divided by 5 spans, 1598 truss spans were replaced. The article posted also explicitly states the trusses would be reused. It looks that Luke solved this mystery. The fun now becomes finding which of the spans came from where. These are four spans that have slight differences from the ones confirmed to have come from Winona, and likely came from this structure:




There are two other spans in SD that I have not documented yet, so I cannot tell if they have the slightly flared end like the Winona spans. There were also two in western Wyoming that have been removed. The four above do not seem to have flared ends. More to come..