In 1879, the railroad was merged with the Sioux City & Pembina Railway to form the Sioux City and Dakota Railroad, which was in turn controlled by the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway in 1881.
Known as the Milwaukee Road, construction continued with a line being built from Aberdeen, South Dakota to Ashton, South Dakota the same year.
By 1882, another segment from Mitchell to Letcher was built, as well as a segment from Yankton to Scotland.
The missing segments would be filled in during 1886, including from Ashton to Letcher and Mitchell to Scotland.
The route connected to other Milwaukee Road main lines at Aberdeen and Sioux City, as well as at Elk Point and Mitchell.
While this route crossed some of the best farm land in South Dakota, the Milwaukee Road oftentimes was in financial trouble. This was partially due to an expansion to the Pacific Ocean, completed in approximately 1908.
In 1913, the railroad was renamed the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railway. This route saw little change until 1980, when a portion from Mitchell to Aberdeen was proposed for abandonment.
The State of South Dakota purchased the route, and granted Burlington Northern operation of the segment. In addition, BN bought the Mitchell-Sioux City segment.
BN would merge with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway to form BNSF Railway in 1996. Since 2005, BNSF has owned and operated the entire Aberdeen-Sioux City segment as the Aberdeen Subdivision.
One of the more unique trusses in this area is this bridge, crossing between Sioux City and North Sioux City.
Originally built in 1900 as a crossing of the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, the bridge was replaced by a deck truss upstream in 1905.
The curious thing about this bridge is why it was replaced so quickly. The author speculates that frequent floods became an issue and a better route was built. Another identical single truss span exists north of here, giving three bridges known to be relocated from Cedar Rapids.
Currently, the bridge consists of a pair of 6-panel, pin connected Pratt Through Trusses. These spans are approached by deck girder spans on either side.
The entire bridge sits on concrete substructures.
Overall, the bridge remains in relatively good condition. The substructures have recently been stabilized it appears.
The author has ranked this bridge as being regionally significant, due to the relocation history of the bridge.
The photo above is an overview. This bridge is easy to access from nearby roads.
A special thank you to the Milwaukee Road Archives at the Milwaukee Central Library is warranted for finding the history of this bridge!
|Upstream||Elk Point Rail Bridge|
|Downstream||Mouth at Missouri River|