UP Boyer River Bridge #4

Quadrangular Through Truss Bridge over Boyer River
Missouri Valley, Harrison County, Iowa

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Name UP Boyer River Bridge #4
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 184 Feet Total, 160 Foot Main Span
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Type Quadrangular Through Truss and Concrete Slab
Date Built 1899
Traffic Count 60 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 331.97
In 1859, the Cedar Rapids & Missouri River Railroad charted a line from Cedar Rapids to Council Bluffs via Ames.

This line was built with the intent that it would connect to the line under construction on the east end at Cedar Rapids and to the line which would be constructed to the pacific coast on the west side.

The work was completed linking eastern and western Iowa by 1867. By 1884, the line had fallen to the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, linking Chicago to the pacific coast.

In 1899, the line was becoming increasingly busy. A huge project was undertaken to double track the whole thing from Chicago to Omaha.

The old Moingona line was ripped out in 1930.

Today, the Boone Subdivision starts at Boone and heads through Jefferson and Carroll before splitting into two at Missouri Valley. One line heads towards Blair, Nebraska while the other heads towards Omaha.

The line sees a constant bombardment of 90+ trains/day, reaching about 115 to 120 on a good day.

This beautiful truss bridge is a remain of when the line was initially double tracked.

The bridge features a single Quadrangular Through Truss span, with riveted connections and M-Frame Portal Bracing.
It is similar to many other trusses along the line, although the other Boyer River bridges were replaced in the 1940s.
The current channel was cut in the late 1800s, likely as a diversion channel. An older channel ran a more southern course.

The bridge is also approached by modern concrete slab spans. These spans were likely added recently, as the bridge appears to have one modification.
Due to the flooding of the river and the area, it appears the bridge was raised up recently. This could explain the presence of the concrete approaches, and the piers that are former abutments.

The substructures are concrete. The bridge can be accessed using a minimum maintenance road.

The photo above is an overview.

Boyer River Railroad Bridges

Upstream CN Boyer River Bridge #9
Old Channel CN Old Boyer River Bridge
Downstream Confluence with Missouri River

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