CIC Washington Street Bridge

Concrete Encased I-Beam Bridge over Washington Street
Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa

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Name CIC Washington Street Bridge
Built By Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway
Length 65 Feet Total, 20 Foot Largest Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 8 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Concrete Encased I-Beam
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1915
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date September 2017
In the summer of 1903, construction began on the Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway between the two points in the name.
With the line officially opening in 1904, it became critical for passenger service. Freight service was also major.
With the railroad finding a major success, they completed lines to Mount Vernon and Lisbon in 1914.

The line to Mount Vernon and Lisbon was abandoned in 1928 due to a lack of success. It was clear the railroad found success between the two namesake cities, but branch lines would fail.
In 1953 passenger service was discontinued.
With the railroad still going strong in 1980, they acquired former Milwaukee Road tracks through Amana, and the former Rock Island from Iowa City to Hills.

By 1984, the CRandIC invested in the former Rock Island Mainline, now Iowa Interstate.
Today, the railroad is going strong and is one of the top short lines in the Nation. In the past years, them bridge over the Cedar River at Cedar Rapids was replaced, same with the Clear Creek Bridge in Coralville due to the massive flood of 2008, which nearly devastated the railroad.
Today, the railroad operates 60 miles of main track and 40 of industry track.

Crossing the former alignment of Washington Street on the University of Iowa Campus, this concrete encased I-Beam bridge still stands the test of time.
Containing a trio of I-Beam spans, the bridge rests on concrete abutments. It is unknown if the bridge was originally encased in concrete, or the encasement was done at a different time.
Currently, the road below has been blocked off from traffic. It is unknown when this originally occurred.
Overall, the bridge is in poor condition. It is likely a candidate for eventual replacement or filling.

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


Source Type


Build Date 1992 National Bridge Inventory
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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