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IAIS - IA163 Overpass


Photo taken by Daniel Barnes in November 2016


BH Photo #370607


Street View 


Abandoned pony/through girder bridge over Hwy 163 on former Iowa Interstate RR
Pella, Marion County, Iowa
Built 1993, abandoned 1998
- Trinity Industries Inc. of Chicago Heights, Illinois
- Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS)
Pony/through girder
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.41021, -92.94704   (decimal degrees)
41°24'37" N, 92°56'49" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/504425/4584297 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 1998)
Inventory numbers
IA 601450 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 56106 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 1997)
View more at BridgeReports.com


Abandoned (3,754)
Built 1993 (66)
Built during 1990s (730)
Girder (10,506)
Have street view (27,293)
IA 163 (3)
Iowa (6,563)
Iowa Interstate Railroad (187)
Marion County, Iowa (125)
Modern (2,479)
Owned by railroad (12,732)
Pella, Iowa (5)
Railroad (15,858)
Through girder (3,925)
Trinity Industries Inc. (1)

Update Log 

  • February 1, 2017: New photo from Daniel Barnes
  • November 23, 2016: Updated by Dylan VanAntwerp: Added abandonment date
  • November 23, 2016: Updated by Luke: Added builder from plaque in photograph taken by Daniel Barnes
  • November 23, 2016: New photos from Daniel Barnes
  • April 26, 2013: New Street View added by Luke Harden
  • April 26, 2013: Updated by Dylan VanAntwerp: Added categories "Iowa Interstate Railroad", "Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad", "railroad"


  • Dylan VanAntwerp - dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com
  • Luke
  • Daniel Barnes


IAIS - IA163 Overpass
Posted November 25, 2016, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

What is really ironic is that Pella Windows was one of the original backers of Iowa Interstate Railroad when it was formed. Before 1980, this line went all the way to Keokuk, but the section from Keokuk to Pella was quickly abandoned after the Rock Island shutdown.

Pella Windows seems to have been the primary reason the line wasn't abandoned further north in the first place. Whatever traffic originated from Pella seems to have quickly declined after Iowa Interstate was formed.

Even though the taxpayer was on the hook for building this bridge in 1993, by 1998 IAIS filed to abandon the line, citing lack of customers and poor track conditions. Apparently, none of the three online customers at Pella had shipped anything in at least a year, having all switched to big trucks. I read the STB document recently, but I can't find it now or I would post it.

I don't necessarily disagree with the fact that we the people had to pay for the bridge, but it seems sad at the time nobody had the foresight to realize the branch line wasn't going to last much longer. IAIS could have filed to abandon in 1993 and saved us some money.

IAIS - IA163 Overpass
Posted November 24, 2016, by Luke

From what I can surmise, this bridge was only built because Iowa Highway 163 was being built in 1993.

The rest of the line from Pella to Prairie City, according to an IAIS railfan site (http://www.iaisrailfans.org/info/Subdivision4), was in "poor condition".

IAIS - IA163 Overpass
Posted November 24, 2016, by Chris Perry

Abandoned after only five years?