CN Old Boyer River Bridge

Deck Girder Bridge over Old Boyer River
Loveland, Pottawattamie County, Iowa

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Name CN Old Boyer River Bridge
Built By Illinois Central Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Canadian National Railway
Length 240 Feet Total, 89 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimted)
Type Deck Plate Girder
Date Built 1899
Traffic Count 5 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
CN Bridge Number 494.7
In 1898, the Fort Dodge and Omaha Railroad began construction of a new line, linking a Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad (Illinois Central) line at Tara, Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska.

This new line would be completed in a staggering 208 days, opening in early 1899. The line was owned by the D&SC (which was a subsidiary of Illinois Central).
The line was also the most significant branch off the D&SC mainline through Iowa.

The new line connected mainly rural areas, and crossed into Omaha on a swing bridge over the Missouri River.
This bridge was leased from the Omaha Bridge and Terminal Railway Company.

When completed, the line was regarded as a mainline, connecting Nebraska to Chicago. East of Tara, the line connected Waterloo, Dubuque and Chicago.

By 1947, the IC fully absorbed any remains of the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad. IC became the sole operator and proprietor of this line.
In 1972, the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio merged with IC to form the Illinois Central Gulf.

In 1985, operations of the ICG western division (west from Chicago) was spun off into the Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad.
By 1996, the railroad was repurchased by Illinois Central. Canadian National Railway purchased Illinois Central in 1999, and continues to operate the line as the Omaha Subdivision.

This large girder bridge looks quite out of place in 2016, crossing nothing but an empty field.
However, when it was built, it originally crossed the Boyer River; a river that flooded often and required a large trestle.

Because of the continued flooding of the area, a series of diversion and channelization projects took place throughout the late 1890s and early 1900s. This included the rerouting of the Boyer River, and filling of the channel under this bridge.
It is unknown when this took place, although it was before 1930.

The bridge that remains is a large 3 span deck girder. The piers are steel bents, set on stone piers.
In addition, the abutments are of stone construction.

One single plaque location remains, although the builder is unknown. An odd looking vertical rectangle was the plaque.

Today, the bridge is in good condition. However, it is likely relatively unsafe, considering it no longer serves a true need.
The photo above is an overview.

Boyer River Railroad Bridges

Upstream (Current Channel) UP Boyer River Bridge #4
Downstream (Old Channel) UP Old Boyer River Bridge
Downstream (Current Channel) Confluence with Missouri River

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