Saltillo Trail Bridge

Quadrangular Through Truss Bridge over Salt Creek
Saltillo, Lancaster County, Nebraska

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Name Saltillo Trail Bridge
Built By Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Lancaster County
Length 305 Feet Total, 130 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Quadrangular Through Truss and I-Beam
Substructure Type Quadrangular Through Truss and I-Beam
Date Built Ca. 1900, Approaches rebuilt 1958
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
UP Bridge Number 63.83
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date January 2017
In 1876, the Omaha and Republican Valley Railroad was busy constructing new lines as settlers continued to move west into a new frontier.
In 1876 and 1877, they built from Fremont, Nebraska to Valparasio, Nebraska.

By 1880, construction began of a new line between Valparasio and Linclon. The line would be further extended in 1884, reaching Beatrice that same year.

The railroad would allow connections between Fremont and Lincoln, as well as to Beatrice.

By 1898, the railroad became part of the Union Pacific Railroad, which owned many other lines in the area.

Union Pacific continued to operate this line as a branch line, although many of the connecting railroads would be abandoned.

By 2001, Union Pacific abandoned the portion south of Lincoln. It has been turned into the Jamaica North Trail and the Homestead Trail, which now connects all the way to Marysville, Kansas.

The remaining portions are now part of the Lincoln Subdivision.

This beautiful Quadrangular Through Truss Bridge the highlight of the Homestead Trail, which will eventually connect Lincoln to Marysville, Kansas.
It is unknown when the was built, although the author estimates it was likely built between 1895 and 1905.
Another possibility is that the main span was relocated to this spot from an unknown location at an unknown date.
In addition, the bridge was originally built with trestle approach spans. These were replaced with a I-Beam approach in 1958.
The bridge is a single riveted Quadrangular Through Truss. It is approached by those I-Beam Spans and is set onto concrete and steel pile substructures.
The portal bracing is similar to the Union Pacific Bridge in Lincoln.
The Quadrangular Through Truss design is relatively rare around the country. However, it is rather common in the midwest; where the Rock Island and the Chicago & North Western swore by the design.
This design is an interesting adaption of the traditional Lassig design. It was designed from standardized Union Pacific blueprints.

The author ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the truss design.
The photo above is an overview, looking north across the bridge.


Source Type


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

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