UP Shanaska Creek Bridge

Stone Arch Bridge over Shanaska Creek
Kasota, Le Sueur County, Minnesota

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Name UP Shanaska Creek Bridge
Built By Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 20 Feet
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 20 Feet
Superstructure Type Stone Arch
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built 1896
Traffic Count 15 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 74.63
C&NW Bridge Number 382
Significance Local Significance
In 1865, the Minnesota Valley Railroad Company built a line from St. Paul to Mankato. This line quickly became part of the Chicago, Minneapolis St. Paul & Omaha Railroad, known as the Omaha Road.
The Omaha Road was primarily purchased by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway in 1882, although the Omaha name stuck and independent operations ensued until 1957.
Due to the heavy traffic this line was projected to see, the line was significantly rebuilt between Shakopee and Mankato between 1890 and 1910, including revised slopes and grades, new bridges and new rails.
Mankato was a significant stop for the railroad, as the Minnesota Valley was the most important feature in central Minnesota. At Mankato, the line would interchange with other railroads that connected to other stops.
The railroad also went through major industrial hubs, such as Le Sueur, Shakopee and Savage.

The C&NW continued to operate this as a mainline until 1995, when they were purchased by Union Pacific Railroad.
Union Pacific still operates this as a mainline called the Mankato Subdivision. It sees significant traffic heading between Sioux City and Chicago, bypassing the more congested lines through Iowa.

This large stone arch bridge crosses Shanaska Creek in Kasota.
Built in 1896, the bridge features a single stone arch span. This span likely replaced an older timber trestle bridge.
The bridge is surrounded by private property, and was accessed with permission. Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition. Some scouring has occurred on the walls, which has been repaired.

The author has ranked the bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Chicago & North Western Railway Historical Society Archives
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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