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 1883
Original Locations Bridge #C-80; Watertown, Wisconsin (1883-1909)
Bridge #Z-1114; Madrid, Iowa (1909-1913)
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.
The main girder for this bridge was originally fabricated in 1883 for use at Bridge #C-80 across the Rock River east of Watertown, Wisconsin. In 1909, that bridge would be replaced and the girder would be reused across the Des Moines River at Bridge #Z-1154, near Madrid, Iowa.
When the new high bridge at Bridge #Z-1154 opened in 1913, the girder was rebuilt with a new floor and moved to this location.
In addition to this unique main span, the bridge is approached by trestle spans. It sits on wooden and concrete substructures. The piers are typical concrete bents seen throughout the Milwaukee Road system.
Due to concerns with the condition of the bridge, it was closed in 2008. With Chaska growing little north of the bridge, it is a low priority for the county to replace. As of June 2023, the bridge remains intact but closed to traffic.
The Milwaukee Road reused steel and iron spans extensively. This bridge was one of many examples of girder spans that were reused in this fashion, although relatively few still survive.
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

Widget is loading comments...

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