Soldier Creek Trail Bridge (West)

Through Plate Girder Bridge over Soldier Creek
Fort Dodge, Webster County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Soldier Creek Trail Bridge (West)
Built By Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By City of Fort Dodge
Length 74 Feet Total
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Concrete
Date Built 1909
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
M&StL Bridge Number 153
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date March 2019
In 1878, the Minnesota and Iowa Southern Railway built a 60 mile line from the Minnesota/Iowa State Line near Emmons to Livermore, Iowa.

By 1879, the Fort Dodge & Fort Ridgeley Railroad built 29 miles from Livermore to Fort Dodge, Iowa.

By 1881, the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway consumed both railroad companies, and connected the line to their own rails at Albert Lea, Minnesota.

In addition, they built a short expansion of 3 miles to Kalo, Iowa from Fort Dodge; to facilitate the mining of coal.

The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway became part of the Chicago & North Western in 1960, who ran what was their lines into the ground.
The first abandonment came in 1976, and was between Lake Mills and Albert Lea.
The second abandonment came in 1977, when the Kalo branch was abandoned.
The next portion came in 1979, when the Humboldt to Luverne portion was abandoned.
In 1981, a portion from Fort Dodge to Rogerton was abandoned; along with Luverne to Lake Mills. From Rogerton to Humboldt was abandoned in 1985.

Today, small portions of the line exist as recreational trails. In Humboldt, a trail exists from about a mile north of Humboldt to Gotch Park.

In Fort Dodge, a portion from County Highway D-14 to downtown also exists.

This standard through girder bridge is the western of three identical structures crossing Soldier Creek on the Fort Dodge Nature Trail.
Built in 1909 using a single through girder, this bridge features a single through girder span, set onto concrete and stone substructures.
These structures feature ballasted decks, and stone substructures. The bridge remains in an overall good condition.
While rather ordinary, the bridge does feature one notable feature. Graffiti has been painted on the bridge, similar to a Lionel Model Railrod bridge.
This graffiti does make the bridge a local landmark of sorts.

The author has ranked the bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design of the bridge.
However, the bridge does gain some significance from the graffiti on the bridge.
The photo above is an overview. It can be accessed from a park.


Source Type


Build Date ICC Valuation Summary Report, courtesy Doug Harding collection
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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