3 votes

BNSF - Lexington Avenue Overpass


West side

Photo taken by James Baughn

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BH Photo #103111

Street View 


Relocated from Bridge ATSF Las Animas Branch Bridge #1A over the Arkansas River near Las Animas, Colorado


Pony truss railroad bridge over Lexington Avenue on BNSF Railway in De Soto
De Soto, Johnson County, Kansas
Open to railroad traffic above and highway traffic below
Built 1907, Moved Here in 1940
- Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (ATSF)
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
Warren pony truss
Length of largest span: 100.0 ft.
Total length: 103.0 ft.
Also called
De Soto Railroad Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.97049, -94.98012   (decimal degrees)
38°58'14" N, 94°58'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/328459/4315366 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
De Soto
Inventory numbers
KS 000000000460360 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 17882 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 25, 2018: Updated by John Marvig: Updated information from ATSF Bridge Records
  • July 29, 2017: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • March 5, 2017: New photos from John Marvig
  • February 27, 2017: Updated by Robert Elder: Added category "Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Co."
  • June 26, 2013: Updated by Clark Vance: Added NBI
  • April 17, 2010: New Street View added by James Baughn
  • February 3, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Adjusted GPS Coordinates.

Related Bridges 


  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com
  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com


BNSF - Lexington Avenue Overpass
Posted June 26, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Well, that branch came and went quickly. I found a map showing the crossing and based on your evidence I'll add the bridge and put it as related.


BNSF - Lexington Avenue Overpass
Posted June 26, 2018, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)


I have attached the information I used to find the original location of this bridge. This is the only truss that matches the given dimensions and year (100' built in 1907) on the entire system, despite being labeled a through truss. It also appears to be one of, if not the only pony truss on the ATSF system. If you look east of US-50, near where the levee curves, you can clearly see piers for a four span bridge. I believe this branch line was abandoned in the late 1930s, and according to:


was built between 1906 and 1908 as a short connecting route.

BNSF - Lexington Avenue Overpass
Posted June 26, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Going back to the 1894/1948 topo, the ATSF doesn't cross the Arkansas anywhere near Los Animas. Just east of town it crosses the Purgatoire River. Should we assume this was the original location?

BNSF - Lexington Avenue Overpass
Posted July 30, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yes, the Kill Creek Crossing does make sense as a potential former location of this bridge. It makes even more sense when you consider the mismatched spans that are currently crossing Kill Creek.

BNSF - Lexington Avenue Overpass
Posted July 30, 2017, by John Marvig

Nick and Robert,

I had assumed that this bridge was relocated from Kill Creek, also in the town of De Soto. There are parallel tracks with an identical length through girder built a year later from the pony truss, as well as a "frankenbridge" of girders built in 1940.

BNSF - Lexington Avenue Overpass
Posted July 30, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Railroads were notorious for moving bridges around. I would not be at all surprised if this bridge was built somewhere else in 1907 and moved to this location sometime around the construction of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant. It looks like a circa 1907 bridge to me.

BNSF - Lexington Avenue Overpass
Posted July 29, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler

plaque clearly indicates that at least the CONSTRUCTION of this bridge (not PLACEMENT) was 1907, 2nd posting really of this plaque info

De Soto Railroad Bridge
Posted June 29, 2015, by Max

While I don't know for a fact, I am going to suggest the 1907 construction date on this bridge may be inaccurate even though the NBI says 1907. For a few reasons, firstly, K10 (early days) was originally aligned further north on what is now known as Penner Ave (83rd) and ran through downtown Desoto, this can clearly be seen on any map. On this road, the rails go under an old highway bridge built in 1948 that I just added to the site. Secondly, this branch line was originally installed to serve the Sunflower Army Ammo plant, which in turn was built in 1941-42 at the start of WW2. So, there are those two reasons why I think its much younger, Lexington Ave (second gen K10) probably didn't exist then, and its possible that the rail line wasn't added until seven years after. This of course I can't confirm due to lack of aerials or general information.

There is a third option, the NBI could be a typo, 1947? perhaps, this would put it inline with the other highway bridge being constructed at the same time in 1947-48. Or again, could have been built in 1907 and relocated from elsewhere.

On another note, the bridge, Lexington Ave, and its rail line are all present in the 1959 aerial image. However, the first appearance of the line and the new road doesn't appear till the 1952 topo and was not present coming off the main line in 1950.

While I have a editors account here, I can't find anything by googling info about the bridge to make an accurate edit. If anyone can confirm and update the build date, that would be great.

De Soto Railroad Bridge
Posted February 16, 2006, by Steve (Gokcblades [at] aol [dot] com)

This Railroad bridge is not Abondoned. Trains still cross this bridge about twice a week. Although Trains no longer cross this bridge to the old Sunflower Ammo plant, Trains still cross to deliver Freight cars to industry plants.