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Hawarden Rail Bridge (S)

Quadrangular Through Truss Bridge over Big Sioux River
Hawarden, Sioux County, Iowa
To Rural Union County, South Dakota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Hawarden Rail Bridge (S)
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Dakota & Iowa Railroad
Length 1,093 Feet Total, 144 Foot Largest Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Type Quadrangular Through Truss and Deck Girder
Date Built 1907
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
DAIR Bridge Number 2601
Significance Moderately Significant
In 1882, the Toledo & Northwestern Railway constructed a line from their mainline at Eagle Grove to Hawarden, on the Big Sioux River.

This railroad quickly became part of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, who used it as a branchline.

In 1974, the C&NW abandoned a portion from Hawarden to Orange City (20 Miles)
In 1980, the C&NW abandoned a portion from Alton to Marathon (59 Miles)
In 1982 the C&Nw abandoned a small section from Alton to Orange City (about 3 Miles)
In 1988, the C&NW abandoned the last section of this line, from Rolfe to Eagle Grove in 1988. (33 Miles)

There are two sections left of this line. It is owned by Union Pacific and runs from Rolfe to Marathon, connecting to Albert City via an old MILW line at Marathon.

There is a connection on ex M&StL tracks at Rolfe to Fort Dodge.

Today, it is known as the Laurens Subdivision. In addition, a small section near Hawarden is owned by the Dakota & Iowa Railroad.
03/19/18


This large scale Quadrangular Through Truss Bridge crosses the Big Sioux River at Hawarden.

It features riveted connections, and large A-Frame portals on the trusses. The trusses are different sizes as well, with two being 143' and one being 144'.
In addition, a long string of 13 deck girder spans approach on the west. It is set parallel to 10th Street.

All the substructures on the bridge are constructed of stone blocks. Overall, the bridge appears to be in very good condition.

The author has ranked the bridge as moderately significant, due to the age and the somewhat unique design. Long strings of Quadrangular Trusses are rarely seen in Iowa.

The photo above is an overview.

Big Sioux River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Hawarden Rail Bridge (N)
Downstream Elk Point Rail Bridge


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