Abandoned Little Sioux River Bridge #4

Abandoned Pratt Through Truss Bridge over Little Sioux River
Correctionville, Woodbury County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Abandoned Little Sioux River Bridge #4
Built By Cherokee & Dakota Railroad
Contractor (Main Span) Union Bridge Company of Buffalo, New York
Contractor (Approach Spans) Keystone Bridge Company of Pittsburgh
Currently Owned By Woodbury County
Length 657 Feet Total (Formerly), 175 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Through Truss and Trestle
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Timber Pile
Date Built 1887, Approaches Added 1911
Date Fabricated (Approach Trusses) 1881
Original Location (Approach Trusses) Tallahatchie River Bridge, Mississippi
Date Removed (Approaches) Ca. 1995
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Abandoned
IC Bridge Number T20.8
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date December 2016
In 1888, the Cherokee & Dakota built a 59 mile route between Cherokee and Onawa. This route connected to other routes being constructed in the area.
The same year, the C&D became a part of the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad, who already operated a mainline between the namesake cities.
The Illinois Central leased the D&SC, and it fully merged in 1946.
As a branch line, this route gradually became excess for the Illinois Central, which had reorganized as Illinois Central Gulf in 1972.
The entire line was abandoned between 1978 and 1980. Today, most structures on the line remain but the tracks are long gone.

Located north of Correctionville, this large through truss bridge crosses the Little Sioux River.
Built in 1887 during the initial construction of this route, the bridge features a single pin connected 9-panel Pratt Through Truss structure, set onto stone piers. In 1911, a pair of secondhand Pratt Through Trusses were moved from the Tallahatchie River Bridge in Mississippi. Built in 1881, these trusses also featured pinned connections, and were fabricated by the Keystone Bridge Company. In addition, approximately 100 feet of trestle approach was constructed on either side of the trusses.
In addition to the unique features of this bridge, the remaining truss also features a unique double jointing on the lower connections at the outermost vertical members.
The remaining span is a standardized design on the Illinois Central routes. Seen throughout Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, these bridges were simple and durable. Many continue to exist today. However, this span was built heavier, due to the larger size.
Unfortunately for this bridge, the two relocated trusses were removed in the 1990s due to safety issues. Because of the removal, this greatly impacted a highly significant bridge in the region. At the same time, the timber approaches were removed, leaving just the single span remaining. Some remains of the north approach appear burned and are collapsed.
The author is unsure of the owner of this structure, although respecting nearby property is a must. The structure can be seen from Osceola Avenue, where the author walked along the river bank from. While it is unlikely it would ever see trail usage at this location, it would make a good candidate to move and restore for a pedestrian bridge at another location.
Overall, the truss appears to be in good condition, although most of the deck is missing. It is hoped that this bridge can be preserved at another location.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the truss design. The significance of this bridge took a major blow after the removal of the approach trusses.
The photo above is an overview.



Source Type


Build Dates ICC Valuation Bridge Notes at the National Archives
Contractors ICC Valuation Bridge Notes at the National Archives
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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