7 votes

DME - G38 Overpass


Photo taken by Jason Smith in August 2011


BH Photo #212800

Street View 


(The following is written from the point of view of roads. There are much older deck trusses within the state, most of which are railroad bridges and were therefore not considered within the statement.)

This rare Warren deck truss carries a railroad track over an unpaved road and the west fork of Crooked Creek in eastern Franklin Township. The bridge is built on a skew, being oriented on a northeast-southwest line while crossing an east-west road. The year 1903 is incised in one of the concrete piers, and presumably this date represents the bridge's erection date. The crossing was probably independently designed and built by the railroad, therefore no county records exist for the truss. Warren deck trusses are rare for highway bridges, although more common for railroad structures. Prior to 1940, numerous through and pony trusses were built on road and highways throughout Iowa. Deck trusses--in which the roadway is carried by the truss's upper chords--were built far less often, owing to the relatively flat nature of Iowa's waterways. "Only a few locations in the state will permit the use of this type of construction," the state highway commission stated in 1915. "This type of construction requires considerable head room about high water in order to allow its use." This uncommon truss type has suffered statewide attrition, until less than ten deck trusses are known to remain in Iowa. The CM&StP Railroad Underpass is distinguished as the oldest remaining deck truss in Iowa. It retains a high degree of both structural and historical integrity and thus is an important transportation-related resources [adapted from Zibell, Hess and Fraser 1992].


Deck truss bridge over 250th Street and West Fork Crooked Creek on Canadian Pacific Railway
Washington County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1903
- Canadian Pacific Railway (CP)
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW)
- Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern Railroad (DME)
- I&M Rail Link (IMRL)
- Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad (ICE)
- Soo Line Railroad (SOO)
Length of largest span: 115.0 ft.
Total length: 300.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 15, 1998
Also called
MILW - G38 Overpass
Washington Railroad Bridge
MILW Bridge #I-1078
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.29342, -91.72467   (decimal degrees)
41°17'36" N, 91°43'29" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/606781/4572114 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
NRHP 98000469 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
IA 336620 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 48899 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 26, 2019: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • April 20, 2018: New photos from John Marvig
  • August 14, 2013: Updated by John Marvig: Corrected to most common name
  • August 13, 2013: New photos from Dave King
  • August 13, 2013: Updated by John Marvig: Added dimensions
  • May 5, 2013: New photo from Dylan VanAntwerp
  • March 12, 2013: Updated by Dylan VanAntwerp: Added categories "I&M Rail Link", "Soo Line Railroad"
  • March 2, 2013: Updated by Dylan VanAntwerp: Removed category "Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad"
  • October 26, 2012: Updated by Jason Smith: Added categories "Riveted", "Crooked Creek (Iowa)"
  • August 25, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Edited page a wee bit.
  • March 23, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad"
  • September 6, 2011: New photos from Jason Smith
  • June 12, 2011: Added by Luke Harden

Related Bridges 


  • Luke
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • RailPictures.net
  • Dylan VanAntwerp - dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com
  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs


DME - G38 Overpass
Posted January 31, 2021, by Byron Miller (iluvspam6 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Oh, my. For years (30?) I have been within 2 miles of this bridge but "took a wrong turn at Albuquerque" instead. We look forward to enjoying this one in person next time we are travelling through (taking that small detour to the west...) in Washington. Great photos, folks!

Milwaukee Road Underpass
Posted September 25, 2012, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)

Ok I see. Perhaps someone could edit it a little to make it very clear it's from the point of view of roads

Milwaukee Road Underpass
Posted September 25, 2012, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

Since the essay was written from the perspective of roads, rather than railroads, and was hosted for the Iowa DOT, it's evident that they were speaking from the perspective of roads and road associating structures.

Milwaukee Road Underpass
Posted September 25, 2012, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)

The essay isn't exactly true. There are deck truss bridges (on railroads) older than this one. This includes a CRIP crossing at Estherville (1894), the famous Kate Shelley High Bridge (1901) and the Fort Dodge High Bridge (1902)

Perhaps the better statement is deck truss bridges on OR over highways?