Grantville Rail Bridge

Subdivided Warren Through Truss Bridge over Muddy Creek
Grantville, Jefferson County, Kansas

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Name Grantville Rail Bridge
Built By Union Pacific Railroad
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 110 Feet Total
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 30 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Subdivided Warren Through Truss
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1905
Traffic Count 45 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 60.88
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date September 2018
After the Pacific Railway Act of 1862, numerous railroads were charting routes from the Midwest to the Pacific using federal land grants.
The Leavenworth, Pawnee and Western Railroad was initially authorized by the Kansas Legislature in 1855, and changed the name to the Union Pacific Eastern Division in 1863.
Construction began in Kansas City in September 1863. The original goal was to meet the Central Branch Union Pacific Railroad somewhere near Clay Center, Kansas.
In 1864, the first 40 miles of line between Kansas City and Lawrence was placed into operation. During the fall of 1866, the railroad extended again to Junction City, and reached Salina the following year.
The planners of the railroad realized it would be far more profitable to reach Denver instead of ending at the originally intended Fort Riley. Citizens lobbied heavily to extend the railroad even further west.
Reorganized as the Kansas Pacific, an extension towards Colorado began building west from Salina in 1869. When the railroad reached Kit Carson, Colorado the following year, the KP began building east from Denver. The two railroads met at Strasburg, Colorado in August 1870.
Because the western segment from Denver to Strasburg originally connected with another railroad, the meeting at Strasburg was the first time the east and west coast were connected by railroad, including a bridge over the Missouri River, which did not exist at that time in Omaha.
In 1874, Jay Gould gained control of the KP, and was reorganized as the Union Pacific Railroad. Other than track upgrades, the line saw little change since the 1870 connection.
Today, UP continues to operate the line in four subdivisions. The eastern portion of the Kansas Subdivision extends from Kansas City to Topeka, the Salina Subdivision extends from Topeka to Salina, the Sharon Springs Subdivision extends from Salina to Sharon Springs, and the Limon Subdivision extends from Sharon Springs to Denver.

Located just east of Grantville, this large truss bridge crosses Muddy Creek.
Built in 1905 as Union Pacific double tracked this route, the bridge features a 4-panel, riveted Subdivided Warren Through Truss. While the span is rather short, the members on the bridge consist of built up beams. The abutments are made of concrete.
This truss is one of several along the Union Pacific route through Kansas. Similar spans can be found at various locations.
The portal bracings on this bridge feature a lattice design, which has not been modified. The substructures of the bridge were reconstructed in 1944.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition. Unfortunately, heavy foliage prevented the author from getting as many photos as hoped. The author plans to return to this location eventually.

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


Source Type


Build Date Plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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