Correctionville Trail Bridge

Pratt Through Truss Bridge over Little Sioux River
Correctionville, Woodbury County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Correctionville Trail Bridge
Built By Cherokee & Dakota Railroad
Contractor (1887 Truss) Union Bridge Company of Buffalo, New York
Contractor (1881 Truss) Keystone Bridge Company of Pittsburgh
Currently Owned By Woodbury County
Length 672 Feet Total (Formerly), 150 Foot Main Span (Formerly), 122 Foot Remaining Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Through Truss and Trestle
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Timber Pile
Date Built 1887, Approaches Added 1911
Date Fabricated (Approach Truss) 1881
Original Location (1881 Truss) Tallahatchie River Bridge, Mississippi
Date Removed (1887 Truss and Approaches) Ca. 1999
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
IC Bridge Number T22.3
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date December 2016
In 1888, the Cherokee & Dakota built a 59 mile route between Cherokee and Onawa. This route connected to other routes being constructed in the area.
The same year, the C&D became a part of the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad, who already operated a mainline between the namesake cities.
The Illinois Central leased the D&SC, and it fully merged in 1946.
As a branch line, this route gradually became excess for the Illinois Central, which had reorganized as Illinois Central Gulf in 1972.
The entire line was abandoned between 1978 and 1980. Today, most structures on the line remain but the tracks are long gone.

Located south of Correctionville, this large through truss bridge crosses the Little Sioux River.
Originally built in 1887 during the initial construction of this route, the bridge featured a single pin connected 8-panel Pratt Through Truss structure, set onto stone piers. In 1911, a single secondhand Pratt Through Truss were moved from the Tallahatchie River Bridge in Mississippi. Built in 1881, this truss also featured pinned connections, and was fabricated by the Keystone Bridge Company.
The removed span was a standardized design on the Illinois Central routes. Seen throughout Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, these bridges were simple and durable. Many continue to exist today.
Unfortunately for this bridge, the original truss was removed in the 1990s by a farmer. Because of the removal, this greatly impacted a highly significant bridge in the region. At the same time, the timber approaches were removed, leaving just the single span remaining.
In 2006, the remaining span was converted to a trail. A concrete span was built to replace the missing truss, instead of using one of the other three identical 150 foot trusses nearby, one of which is owned by Woodbury County.
The remaining truss wasn't built by Union Bridge Company, even though this is called the Union Bridge Trail. A historical plaque neglects to mention the much older and more significant status of the remaining truss. In addition, a replica plaque from the original truss was affixed to this bridge.
Overall, the truss appears to be in good condition, and has seen little alterations.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the truss design. The significance of this bridge took a major blow after the removal of the original trusses.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Dates ICC Valuation Bridge Notes at the National Archives
Contractors ICC Valuation Bridge Notes at the National Archives
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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