Iowa Northern Hawkeye Avenue Underpass

"Haunted" Stone Tunnel over Hawkeye Avenue
Nora Springs, Floyd County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Iowa Northern Hawkeye Avenue Underpass
Built By Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway
Contractor F.A. MacDonald
Currently Owned By Iowa Northern Railroad
Length 40 Feet
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Type Stone Arch Tunnel
Date Built 1889
Traffic Count 3 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
IANR Bridge Number 210.3
In 1872, the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Minnesota railway company continued building on itís mainline from Waterloo, Iowa. The new extension crossed the Cedar River at Cedar Falls, crossed the Shell Rock River at Rockford, bypassed Mason City and ended at Plymouth Jct, where it met up with an old Milwaukee Road line. In 1876, the railroad went into receivership and was sold to the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern. The BCR&N built 5 more miles to Manly, Iowa in 1877 where it then purchased trackage rights over the Iowa Central to Northwood. The Iowa Central never built past Northwood, and the BCR&N built to Albert Lea, where it could meet up with the M&STL. The Iowa Central used this line too.

After building and buying all the way to St. Paul, MN in 1902 the BCR&N was purchased by the Rock Island Railroad. (CRIP) The Rock Island had trackage rights in the St. Paul area. This completed the Spine Line. The Spine Line ran from St. Paul, MN to Kansas City, MO. This line was crucial to the Rock Islands health. The Spine Line ran through Mason City, splitting off at Manly.

But the Rock Island was a poor railroad, often going into Bankruptcy. Negotiations began for a Union Pacific and Rock Island merger in 1960, and fell through in 1980. The line here was well engineered, but due to a suffering Rock Island became unkempt and unmaintained. The Rock Island entered receivership in 1980. The Iowa Northern purchased the portion from the Nora Springs (12 miles east of Mason City) at the junction of the Milwaukee road to Shell Rock, near Waterloo. They operated as a shortline. It was completely purchased between Manly and Cedar Rapids by 1982, for a total of 5.4 Million.

Today, the Iowa Northern has a few more branch lines, but their mainline continues to be from Manly to Cedar Rapids. The line sees about 2 trains a day, and is in decent condition.

This is a cool bridge over Hawkeye Ave, just outside of Nora Springs.
I have been told that this bridge is supposively haunted, making a even better bridge. The bridge cannot be accessed from downtown Nora Springs, because a big bridge on Hawkeye Ave over the Shell Rock River is closed, which is unfortunate.

This bridge is back in the woods, where the INAR is on a huge fill after crossing the DM&E (Ex MILW)
The legend I have been told is that this bridge, called the Gaylord Bridge, was built 1889, and a known serial killer was hung here by the towns people. This bridge, and the Gaylord Mansion are favorite hang outs of local teenagers.

This bridge is weird, because it has a main arch, but then little pedestrian underpasses on both sides, which makes the bridge harder to build.

To get to this bridge, go across two sets of railroad tracks on Hooker Ave, turn left on 9th St, and then a left on a little road, which is minimum maintnance.
The bridge is around a hill and steep curve.
The photo above is looking at the south face.

Site Search Site Search

Widget is loading comments...

© Copyright 2010- John Marvig and Contributors. All Rights Reserved