Railroad Lane Paint Creek Bridge

Steel Stringer Bridge over Paint Creek
Waterville, Allamakee County, Iowa

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Name Railroad Lane Paint Creek Bridge
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Allamakee County
Length 100 Feet Total, 24 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track, 1 Road Lane
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type I-Beam and Trestle
Substructure Type Concrete and Timber Pile
Date Built Ca. 1920
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Road)
Current Status Open to Vehicles
MILW Bridge Number K-1398
Documentation Date December 2014
In 1877, the Waukon and Mississippi Railroad built a 23 mile narrow gauge branch line from Waukon, Iowa to the junction of an existing line at Waukon Junction.

Two extensions were considered for the young and prosperous railroad. One of which would extend to Decorah.
In 1880, the line was obtained by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, who converted it to standard guage. They ripped up the Decorah branch.

The line came out of the Mississippi River Valley through some of the hardest terrain in the midwest. It followed the Paint Creek Valley for the majority of the time.

The CM&StP became the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific (Milwaukee Road) in 1913.

The line served a major lead mine until 1933, when it was removed.

By 1972, the line was starting to struggle, and the Milwaukee Road abandoned it.
Today, chunks of it serve as local roads and some structures still remain as a reminder.

This bridge is an interesting structure. It was recorded as having been built in 1900 by the National Bridge Inventory, although this is unlikely. The author believes it may date to closer to 1920.
Currently, the bridge carries a single lane road over Paint Creek. The bridge is actually a former railroad bridge.
In the current configuration, the bridge contains four I-Beam spans, approached by a trestle span on either side. The substructures are built of concrete.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair condition.

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


Source Type


Build Date Estimated
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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