BNSF Nodaway River Bridge (Nodaway)

Deck Plate Girder Bridge over Nodaway River
Nodaway, Andrew County, Missouri

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Name BNSF Nodaway River Bridge (Nodaway)
Built By Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 320 Feet Total; 90 Foot Largest Span
Width 1 Track, Substructures Built for 2
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1906
Traffic Count 30 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 77.54
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date September 2016
In 1858, the Platte County Railroad begun construction on a line from Weston, Missouri to St. Joseph, Missouri. This railroad would become the Platte Country Railroad in 1863. By 1864, this railroad would be split into the Atchison and St. Joseph Railroad; as well as the Weston and Atchison Railroad.
The Atchison and St. Joseph Railroad would complete the St. Joseph-Winthrop portion in 1861; and begin construction on the North Kansas City-Weston portion of the line in 1863.
The Weston and Atchison Railroad would complete the lines between Weston and Winthrop. These two railroads would be merged back together in 1867 to form the Missouri Valley Railroad; which completed the North Kansas City-Weston portion of the line.

In 1867, the St. Joseph & Council Bluffs Railroad built an 81 mile line from St. Joseph, Missouri to the Iowa border. The entire line would parallel the Missouri River from Kansas City northwards.
By 1870; the railroad would be reorganized as the Kansas City, St. Joseph and Council Bluffs Railroad. This railroad also built a number of other branch lines and relocated significant portions of trackage along the Missouri River.

In 1901, the railroad would be formally merged into the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad; which had constructed a large amount of trackage around the region. The line was critical for connecting Council Bluffs to Kansas City.
The CB&Q continued to operate this as a mainline; until 1970. In 1970, the CB&Q would merge with Great Northern and Northern Pacific to form Burlington Northern; a large railroad which operated a consierable amount of trackage through the area.

In 1996, BN merged with the struggling Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway to form BNSF Railway; the current operator of the line.
This portion is currently the southern part of the St. Joseph subdivision.

This simple deck girder bridge crosses the Nodaway River near the unincorporated town of Nodaway, Missouri.
Built in 1906, bridge features five deck girder spans, including a main 90 foot span. These spans rest on concrete substructures, which were originally constructed for dual tracks.
This style bridge was commonly used to cross small to medium rivers, due to the ease of construction. It is likely that this span replaced a previous truss bridge.
A second track was removed in 1959, leaving the configuration currently seen today. The concrete substructures are in fair condition. In addition, the steel spans do have some deterioration on them; although it is not major. It is unknown if a second track will eventually be added back, as this route sees in excess of 30 trains per day.
Overall, the author has ranked the bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design. The author is further reseaching this bridge to confirm the likely build date of 1913.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design. Despite this, the bridge does feature a minor curve in it.
The photo above is an overview, looking north.

Nodaway River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Burlington Junction Rail Bridge
Downstream Mouth at Missouri River


Source Type


Build Date Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Collection at the Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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