Historic rail bridge in Iowa will be difficult to move, but county is hoping there is a taker

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

A 119-year-old Union Pacific steel truss railroad bridge might be too big for any takers.

The span, which was constructed in 1902 and will be replaced by Union Pacific in early 2022, could be made available to the right organization, but transportation will be extremely difficult. The span crosses the East Boyer River in Denison, Iowa.

According to Jacobs Engineering, parts of the bridge (the truss, nameplates and other elements) will be reused. However, the main portion of the structure is available for those who are interested. Jacobs reached out to the Crawford County Historic Preservation Commission (CCHP) in hopes the remaining sections of the bridge could find another home.

Moving the bridge could take as many as two cranes. The quadrangular lattice through truss bridge includes a double-track bridge structure and an attached single-track structure, which carries a road.

The CCHP does not have the funds to handle such a structure. The steel truss is about 120-ft long and weighs about 500,000 lb. Crawford County Engineer Paul Assman said taking the span away would involve complicated logistics and extensive disassembly. Insurance also is required for the move.

Individuals that have ideas about moving the bridge are being asked to call the Crawford County Auditor’s Office.

Read more articles on rail bridges.

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