CN Xavier Avenue Bridge (Auburn)

Concrete Encased Beam Bridge over Xavier Avenue
North of Auburn, Sac County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name CN Xavier Avenue Bridge (Auburn)
Built By Illinois Central Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Canadian National Railway
Length 42 Feet Total, 24 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 11 Feet 4 Inches
Superstructure Type Concrete Encased I-Beam and Concrete Slab
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1915
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
CN Bridge Number 415.0
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date December 2018
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.

Located north of Auburn, this bridge crosses Xavier Avenue.
Built in 1915, the bridge features a single concrete encased I-Beam span, approached by a single concrete slab span on the east. The entire bridge sits on concrete substructures.
Overall, it appears that the bridge is in fair condition, with some spalling on the bridge. The bridge has been rehabilitated with new concrete added to the spans. The concrete encased beam type bridge appears to have been common on this line, and may have been favored due to the durability.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date 1973 Illinois Central Track Profile
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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