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Black Hawk Creek Trail Bridge

Through Girder Bridge over Black Hawk Creek
Grundy Center, Grundy County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Black Hawk Creek Trail Bridge
Built By Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Grundy County
Length 90 Feet Total
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built 1907
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
RI Bridge Number 701
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date September 2017
In 1873, the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway began building a branch line from their existing mainline at Vinton, Iowa to Traer.
The line would be extended in 1877 to Holland, 25 miles past Traer.

In 1880, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls & Northwestern Railway began building from Holland to Iowa Falls, another 26 miles.
They continued and reached Clarion the same year.
1881 saw the 58 mile expansion from Clarion to Emmetsburg, and 1882 an additional 50 miles from Emmetsburg to Lake Park, via Estherville.

Lake Park was the terminus of this line, although other branches extended, including one towards Watertown, South Dakota.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls & Northern would be sold to the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern in 1902.

The BCR&N would in turn be sold to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific (Rock Island) in 1903.

The Rock Island was one of the main railroads in Iowa, and their empire nearly doubled after the acquisition of the BCR&N.

However, the Rock Island became a poor railroad by the 1970s. By 1980, the Rock Island would be forced to abandoned their entire empire in Iowa, and liquidate as part of their bankruptcy deal.

This line became chopped up significantly. The Sibley to Lake Park to Estherville segment was purchased by Iowa Northwestern Railway, which would eventually abandoned in 2005.

The Chicago & North Western Railway purchased 3 segments:
Estherville to Goldfield
Clarion to Dows
and Iowa Falls to Alden

The Iowa Northern Railway, who purchased the entire mainline from Cedar Rapids to Manly also purchased the Vinton to Dysart segment, which would be abandoned in 2003.

The C&NW was purchased by Union Pacific in 1995, who now owns the remaining three segments as their Dows and Alden Industrial Leads, as well as their Estherville Subdivision. Portions of the route in Grundy County are known as the Pioneer Trail.
04/16/19


This simple through girder bridge crosses Black Hawk Creek near Grundy Center, Iowa.
Carrying the Pioneer Trail, the bridge was built in 1907 by American Bridge Company.
Resting on stone substructures, the bridge remains in rather good condition, with minor wear and tear.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be accessed from a nearby road.

Citations

Source Type

Source

Build Date American Bridge Company plaque
Contractor American Bridge Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele



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