By 1879, the Fort Dodge & Fort Ridgeley Railroad built 29 miles from Livermore to Fort Dodge, Iowa.
By 1881, the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway consumed both railroad companies, and connected the line to their own rails at Albert Lea, Minnesota.
In addition, they built a short expansion of 3 miles to Kalo, Iowa from Fort Dodge; to facilitate the mining of coal.
The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway became part of the Chicago & North Western in 1960, who ran what was their lines into the ground.
The first abandonment came in 1976, and was between Lake Mills and Albert Lea.
The second abandonment came in 1977, when the Kalo branch was abandoned.
The next portion came in 1979, when the Humboldt to Luverne portion was abandoned.
In 1981, a portion from Fort Dodge to Rogerton was abandoned; along with Luverne to Lake Mills. From Rogerton to Humboldt was abandoned in 1985.
Today, small portions of the line exist as recreational trails. In Humboldt, a trail exists from about a mile north of Humboldt to Gotch Park.
In Fort Dodge, a portion from County Highway D-14 to downtown also exists.
Located in Gotch Park at the confluence of the East and West Forks of the Des Moines River, this large through truss bridge crosses the East Fork Des Moines River.
Built in 1901, the bridge features a 6-panel pin connected Pratt Through Truss. This truss features a lattice portal and an overall unique design. It is approached by trestle spans on each side.
This truss appears to be unique to the Minneapolis & St. Louis, as no similar span has been seen elsewhere on the system.
Currently, the bridge serves as a part of the Three Rivers Trail.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in very good condition. Little major deterioration was noted on the structure.
The author has ranked this bridge as being regionally significant, due to the unique truss design.
The photo above is an overview.
|Upstream||Dakota City Rail Bridge|
|Downstream||Confluence With West Fork Des Moines River|