UP County D36 Bridge

I-Beam Bridge Bridge over County D20 (Old US-20)
Moorland, Webster County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name UP County D36 Bridge
Built By Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 111 Feet Total, 38 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 14 Feet 2 Inches
Superstructure Type I-Beam and Trestle
Substructure Type Timber Pile
Date Built 1930
Traffic Count 4 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 29.21
Significance Minimal Significance
Documentation Date July 2017
After reaching Des Moines in 1866, the Des Moines Valley Railroad continued to build northwards towards Fort Dodge.
Between 1869 and 1870, the railroad constructed a route that headed northwest out of Des Moines, towards Waukee. After, the route traveled through Perry and Grand Junction before arriving at Tara.
At Tara, it connected to the Illinois Central Railroad. Despite the unique idea to follow the Des Moines River, the route never was finished to the headwaters.
By 1873, the Des Moines Valley Railroad sold off the Des Moines-Keokuk segment of the route to a predecessor of the Rock Island Railroad.

In 1875, the Des Moines Valley Railroad was purchased by the Des Moines and Fort Dodge Railroad, which was in turn purchased by the Des Moines & Fort Dodge Railroad in 1881.
The DM&FD built another 55 miles of line to Ruthven, Iowa. This route was completed by 1882.

In 1887, the Rock Island leased the DM&FD. In 1905, the lease expired and the DM&FD operated independently for another decade.
In 1915, the route was merged into the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway, one of the smallest large railroads in the area.

While the M&StL often was in financial trouble, the railroad was purchased by a larger railroad in 1960. The Chicago & North Western purchasing the M&StL is oftentimes considered to be the first large consolidation between railroads.

Due to the branch line status of the railroad, significant portions were abandoned by the Chicago & North Western. The first segment abandoned was the northern stub from Mallard to Ruthven, in 1981.
The next segment occurred from Grand Junction to Rippey in 1984, and from Perry to Rippey in 1989.

In 1995, the C&NW was purchased by Union Pacific Railroad. UP abandoned another segment from Waukee to Perry in 2004.
Presently, a portion from Des Moines to Waukee exists as the West Des Moines Industrial Lead. Another segment from Mallard to Grand Junction is considered the Tara Subdivision.

Utilizing a common design, this bridge features a I-Beam bridge to cross County Road D36, a previous alignment of US-20.
Located in Moorland, the single I-Beam span is set onto wooden substructures and approached by trestle spans.
This design is common on branch lines and even some main lines to cross roads, railroads and waterways.

The author has ranked the bridge as being minimally significant, due to the common design of the bridge and newer age.
The photo above is an overview. It can be accessed from the road underneath.


Source Type


Build Date 1992 National Bridge Inventory
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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