By 1885, an expansion would be made into Omaha. It would be quickly sold to the Omaha and North Platte Railroad.
The Omaha & North Platte desired to continue building west, reaching Ashland by 1888. They would continue north towards Fremont from that point.
The two railroads combined formed a loop, to allow Chicago, Burlington & Quincy trains to enter Omaha. The CB&Q mainline bypassed Omaha about 10 miles to the south.
The railroads became a full part of the CB&Q in 1908, which invested money to heavily rebuild the two.
The CB&Q continued operations of this route until 1970, when they merged with Great Northern and Northern Pacific to form Burlington Northern.
By 1996, the BN merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe to form BNSF Railway, the current owner of this line. It is currently known as the Omaha Subdivision.
Located near 72nd Street in Ralston, this large girder bridge was originally built to cross the Missouri Pacific Railroad.
Built in 1904, the bridge features a large through girder span, approached by deck girder spans on either side. In addition, a single concrete slab span approaches on either side, and these were built in 1929.
When the Missouri Pacific line below was abandoned, the grade was purchased by the City of Ralston for a trail. This trail was built in 2004.
As part of the trail project, a large concrete box culvert was built below the historic bridge. This box culvert takes the place of a typical shelter, which prevents pedestrians from falling debris. As a result of this box culvert, this bridge may end up being filled in sometime in the near future.
The most unique part of this bridge is the builder. McClintic-Marshall was the contractor for this bridge, and they built numerous railroad bridges throughout the United States. However, this is one of the earliest spans that was confirmed to have been built by this company.
In addition, the concrete slabs were likely pre-fabricated offsite. It is believed that the CB&Q manufactured these spans in Holdrege, Nebraska.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair to good condition. Little significant deterioration was noted.
The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design. Despite this, the bridge is a unique example of an early McClintic-Marshall Co. span.
The photo above is an overview.