Clinton Rail Bridge

Swing Bridge Across Mississippi River
East Clinton, Whiteside County, Illinois
Clinton, Clinton County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!

Name Clinton Rail Bridge
Built By Chicago & Northwestern Railway
Contractor 1 Chicago & Northwestern Railway (Swing Span)
Contractor 2 Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company of Milwaukee (East Trusses)
Contractor 3 PEnnsylvania Steel Company pf Pittsburg (Deck Girder)
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 850 Feet Total, 460 Foot Swing Span
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Type Swing Bridge, Through Truss and Deck Girder
Date Built 1909
Traffic Count 115 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use, Scheduled For Repalacement
In 1859, the Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska railroad built from Clinton, Iowa on the Mississippi River, to Cedar Rapids, Iowa which is on the Cedar River.

At the same time, the Cedar Rapids and Missouri River Railroad charted a line continuing from Cedar Rapids to Council Bluffs, on the Missouri River.

The entire line across Iowa was complete by 1867. It connected to the Mississippi and Missouri Railroad. This was a critical link in the very famous Transcontinental Railroad.

By 1884, the railroads east of the Missouri became part of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad system.

This line was double tracked at the turn of the 20th century. 1899 for Council Bluffs, 1901 in Ames, and 1908 for Clinton.

The city of Ames exists because of this railroad.

Perhaps some famous bridges are the Kate Shelley High Bridge in Boone (15 miles west of Ames), the Cedar River Bridge in Cedar Rapids and the Clinton Swing Bridge. All 3 will have been bypassed by 2015.

The Chicago Northwestern became part of the Union Pacific in 1995, who favors this route, calling it the Overland Route. It sees a max of 120+ trains per day.

The Clinton Swing Bridge is the heaviest used bridge across the Mississippi. The swing span is the largest ever erected, and it was the first electrified swing bridge.

This bridge contains four spans. A deck girder span, a Swing Span, a Parker Through Truss span and a Quadrangular Through Truss Span.

The bridge is planned to be replaced in 2018 by a high bridge further downstream. Currently, the bridge opens and closes almost 150 times a day.

The bridge is on all masonry substructures. The abutments are extra wide for a third track, which was the old bridge.

The C&NW engineered some of their own trusses. The main span was one of them.

The photos above are overview photos. The photo above is from the west bank.

Mississippi River Railroad Bridges

Upstream Sabula Rail Bridge
East UP Sunfish Slough Bridge
East Willow Island Rail Bridge
Downstream Government (Arsenal) Bridge

These Pictures Start at varying points in the Series, for the Iowa Side and Detail Photos
Detail Photos

Steve Conro Pictures from 2012

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