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CGW Des Moines River Bridge

Lost Pratt Through Truss Bridge over Des Moines River
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name CGW Des Moines River Bridge
Built By Chicago Great Western Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Nobody (Bridge is Removed)
Length 725 Feet Total, 185 Foot Largest Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 25 Feet (Estimated)
Type Pin Connected, 7 Panel, Pratt Through Truss
Date Built 1887
Date Removed Fall 2012-Fall 2013
Demolisher Mike's Excavating of Madrid, Iowa
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Removed)
Current Status Being Removed
Perhaps the most impressive railroad bridge in downtown Des Moines was this bridge.
The bridge consists of four skewed, pin connected, 7 panel, pratt through truss spans with X Frame Portal Bracing.
The center pier was encased with cement at some point.
The line here was built 1887, and the everything was from then, except the concrete encasing around the east abutment and pier #2. The bridge was abandoned 2001 when the Bell Avenue Industrial Lead was abandoned. This was abandoned due to this bridge, which had significantly deteriorated.
A large section of deck on span #2 was burned, and later completely washed out by high water.
The bridge was also elligable for the National Register of Historic Places. Along with this, it completely went under water in major floods, making matters worse.
To this day, I swear there wasn't a single bad angle on this bridge. It was one of only a few with almost all good angles.
The stone piers were crumbling and the concrete is slipping off of the encased pier. It is a truly sad sight.
According to Mike, who I knew from Carver, the bridge was built in 1887. That date given to him by Union Pacific.
The photo above is looking from the next bridge downstream. This bridge is in the foreground. Downtown Des Moines is directly behind this. This angle would have been a really cool shot to take at night.

In addition, here is my coverage on the removal of the bridge
CGW Des Moines River Bridge Demolition

Des Moines River Railroad Bridges

Upstream CBQ Des Moines River Bridge
Downstream Union Pacific Des Moines River Bridge at Hartford Avenue


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