Riverview Hotel Trail Bridge

Double Intersection Warren Pony Truss Bridge over Big Sioux River
Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota

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Name Riverview Hotel Trail Bridge
Built By Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls & Northern Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By City of Sioux Falls
Length 215 Feet Total, 60 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pony Truss and Deck Girder
Superstructure Type Concrete and Concrete Encased Stone Masonry
Date Built 1888, Girders Added Date Unknown
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
Significance Moderate Significance
In 1884, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls and Northwestern Railway Company built a line from Lake Park, Iowa towards Watertown, South Dakota.

However in 1888, the CRIF&N built another branch from Ellsworth, Minnesota (near the State Line) to Sioux Falls.

The Sioux Falls branch crossed through Rock Rapids and Larchwood before coming into Sioux Falls from the Southeast.

The CRIF&N would become part of the Burlingon, Cedar Rapids & Northern in 1902.

The BCR&N would be swallowed by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific in 1903, which was commonly known as the Rock Island.

The Rock Island operated many of the Southwest branch lines until the late 1970s, as they began their rapid decent into bankruptcy. This one was abandoned in 1977.

Today, some pieces of the BCR&N still survive. Bridges in Sioux Falls and Rock Rapids mark a time past.

This bridge, one of the most historic in Sioux Falls, almost faced demolition in 2011.
Sioux Falls has had a particular recent grudge against railroads and rivers, the two things that built the town.
In this example, they wanted to tear down an 1888 Double Intersection Warren Pony Truss Bridge in downtown so they could "renew" the area.
This is precisely what happened to the Illinois Central bridge upstream, although this bridge likely dated to the early 1900s, and was much lower to the river.
Fortunately, the developers designing the nearby hotel found use for this bridge, rehabilitated it and reopened it in 2013.
The bridge features a pair of Double Intersection Warren Pony Truss spans with riveted connections, each containing 6 panels. Its approach is a pair of deck girder spans on concrete piers.
It is believed that the bridge was originally constructed at this location, likely on wooden piers. However, with the Rock Island Railroad having a history of relocating bridges, it is possible this came from another location.
Most likely however is the idea that the trusses are original, yet the deck girders came from another location. The piers under the truss appear to be stone encased in concrete, while the piers supporting the deck girders appear to be newer concrete.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the uncommon design and age. South Dakota has a huge collection of historic railroad trusses, but this is one of only a handful of pony trusses.
The photo above is an overview of the bridge. The structure is easily accessed from nearby streets.

Big Sioux River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Beadle Park Rail Bridge (W)
Downstream IC Big Sioux River Bridge/td>


Source Type


Build Date Build date of Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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