BNSF West Sarpy Ditch Bridge

Through Plate Girder bridge over West Sarpy Ditch
Near Gretna, Sarpy County, Nebraska

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name BNSF West Sarpy Ditch Bridge
Built By Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Contractor (Approach) Vierling Steel Works of Chicago
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 132 Feet Total, 50 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder and I-Beam
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built Ca. 1920, Approaches Rebuilt 1949
Traffic Count 15 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 42.85
Significance Local Significance
In 1871, the Omaha and South Western Railroad built a line from Oreapolis, Nebraska to Bellevue, Nebraska.
By 1885, an expansion would be made into Omaha. It would be quickly sold to the Omaha and North Platte Railroad.

The Omaha & North Platte desired to continue building west, reaching Ashland by 1888. They would continue north towards Fremont from that point.

The two railroads combined formed a loop, to allow Chicago, Burlington & Quincy trains to enter Omaha. The CB&Q mainline bypassed Omaha about 10 miles to the south.

The railroads became a full part of the CB&Q in 1908, which invested money to heavily rebuild the two.

The CB&Q continued operations of this route until 1970, when they merged with Great Northern and Northern Pacific to form Burlington Northern.

By 1996, the BN merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe to form BNSF Railway, the current owner of this line. It is currently known as the Omaha Subdivision.

This small girder and bridge beam crosses over West Sarpy Ditch, a creek draining fields in the area.
Originally built in approximately 1920, the bridge likely originally had trestle approaches. However, these were replaced in 1949.
The bridge currently has a main through plate girder span, and a single I-Beam span on either side. The entire bridge rests on concrete substructures.
Overall, the bridge appears in good condition.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design and newer age.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be accessed from US-6, which runs parallel.


Source Type


Build Date (Main Span) Based on similar spans
Build Date (Approach Span) Vierling Steel Works plaque
Contractor (Approach Span) Vierling Steel Works plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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