BNSF Bridge #137.4

Deck Girder Bridge over Unnamed Creek
Brandon, Minnehaha County, South Dakota

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Name BNSF Bridge #137.4
Built By Great Northern Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 132 Feet Total, 32 Foot Largest Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Girder and Trestle
Substructure Type Timber Pile
Date Built 1947
Traffic Count 8 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 137.4
Significance Locally Significance
In 1888, the Great Northern Railway began building a branch from their mainline at Garretson, South Dakota towards Sioux Falls.

The line terminated in Sioux Falls until 1893, when the Great Northern Railway continued its expansion towards Yankton, South Dakota; where it met the Chicago & North Western.

The line effectively served as a mainline between the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior and Sioux Falls, when connected with its connections.

By 1970, the Great Northern merged with rival Northern Pacific and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy to form Burlington Northern Railway.

By the mid-1970s, the trans-Minnesota saw a significant drop in traffic. Along with cutting significant portions of the line in Minnesota, Burlington Northern also took out Yankton to Sioux Falls in 1981.

In 1996, the Burlington Northern merged with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway to form BNSF Railway, the current operators of the line from Garretson to Sioux Falls, now the Corson Subdivision.

This simply constructed Deck Girder bridge crosses a small drainage ditch on the west side of Brandon. It is alongside Redwood Boulevard.
The bridge contains three deck girder spans, approached by trestle on either side. It rests on wooden substructures. This may indicate that the bridge was a temporary fix to a derailment or other bridge collapse.
Typically if a temporary repair, these may have been older spans relocated to this location.
This type of bridge has been a prime target for replacement in past years, due to the unfavorability of wooden substructures.

The author has ranked the bridge as locally significant because of the possible relocation history, as well as the common design and age.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be easily accessed from a parallel road.


Source Type


Build Date Great Northern Railway AFE list
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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