McKnight Road Overpass

Recycled Girder Bridge over Twin Cities & Western Railroad
Chaska, Carver County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name McKnight Road Overpass
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By City of Chaska
Length 158 Feet Total, 54 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Road Lane
Height Above Ground 25 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder and Trestle
Substructure Type Concrete and Timber Pile
Date Erected 1913
Date Fabricated Ca. 1900
Original Location Bridge #Z-1114; Madrid, Iowa
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a closed road)
Current Status Closed, Awaiting Future Plans
MILW Bridge Number O-484
Significance Regional Significance
A brief history of the Milwaukee Road route from Minneapolis to the Missouri River:


This unique overpass crosses over the former Milwaukee Road mainline in an area of Chaska known as Jonathan.
Originally built as a wagon bridge in 1913, the structure reused a girder span from a bridge over the Des Moines River at Madrid, Iowa.
It is unknown when that bridge was built, but past truss bridges were built in 1888 prior to being replaced in 1911 and 1912.
When the bridge was reused, the main girder span was dissembled. Likely originally a deck girder, the bridge received a new floor and functions as a through girder currently.
In addition to this unique main span, the bridge is approached by trestle spans. It sits on wooden and concrete substructures.
However, the bridge was closed in 2008. With Chaska growing little north of the bridge, it is a low priority for the county to replace. It currently is in a closed status.
The technique of reusing railroad spans for road use isn't new, although this is one of the only known examples of a structure like this along Milwaukee Road.
Overall, the bridge is in poor condition. Unfortunately, the bridge is in a severely deteriorated condition and will be demolished in the future.
In 2020, the TC&W built a second track (siding) underneath the bridge for car storage and parking, as a result of the Southwest Light Rail project.

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


Source Type


Build Date Milwaukee Road Archives at Milwaukee Central Library
Original Location Milwaukee Road Archives at Milwaukee Central Library
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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