DM&E Yellow River Bridge

Pratt Pony Truss Bridge over Yellow River
South of Waukon Junction, Allamakee County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name DM&E Yellow River Bridge
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad
Length 300 Feet Total, 117 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Pony Truss and Deck Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1901
Traffic Count 8 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
MILW Bridge Number K-414
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date December 2014 and December 2016
In 1871, the Chicago, Dubuque and Minnesota Railway began construction of the line from River Junction, Minnesota to Dubuque, Iowa.

At the same time, the Chicago, Clinton & Dubuque built from Dubuque to Sabula Junction. Combined, this line created a considerable sized line, able to connect to Saint Paul and Milwaukee from the North, and Chicago, Cedar Rapids and Davenport on the South.
Combined, the lines totalled 180 miles along the Mississippi River.

By 1880, both lines became part of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway. They operated this as a mainline, as they understood the importance of the connection.

In addition, the line extended to Davenport and eventually Kansas City.

In 1913, pending the pacific extension, the road name was lengthened to the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railway (Milwaukee Road).

With the Milwaukee Road struggling heavily in the 1980s, they were purchased by the Soo Line in 1985. The Soo became part of the Canadian Pacific in the same year.
In 1997, the Canadian Pacific sold this line, and many others to the I&M Rail Link, which couldn't turn a profit. They were reorganized into the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern in 2002, which became affiliated with the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern.

In 2008, the DM&E became part of the Canadian Pacific again, who currently operates it as a subsidiary. It is currently known as the Marquette Subdivision.

Located north of Marquette, this large truss bridge crosses Paint Creek near Great River Road.
Built in 1901, likely to replace an older wooden trestle, this bridge features a pair of 6-panel pin connected Pratt Pony Trusses. These trusses rest on concrete substructures, and follow a standardized design for the Milwaukee Road. A single deck girder span also approaches the bridge on the north end.
While most of the trusses along the La Crescent-Kansas City route have been replaced, this one is a survivor. Because of the tall clearances, it is likely this one has not been targeted with replacement quite as much as others.
Currently, the bridge is operated by Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern. It has had little alterations since it was first constructed.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair condition. These structures are typically durable and last a long time with proper maintenance.

The author has ranked this bridge as moderately significant, due to the truss design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Date stamp
Contractor Missing American Bridge Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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