Trolley Bridge

Concrete Arch Bridge over Hackett Road
Waterloo, Black Hawk County, Iowa

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Trolley Bridge
Built By Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Engineer Thomas Edsall Rust
Currently Owned By City of Waterloo
Length 75 Feet
Width 1 Track, Single Trail Lane
Height Above Ground 10 Feet
Superstructure Type Closed Spandrel Concrete Deck Arch
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1916
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails To Trails
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date August 2013
The Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern Railroad was planned by Louis Cass in 1895 to Connect Waterloo to Cedar Rapids and Waverly, and provide beltline service in Waterloo.
The line was completed in 1914. Features of this line included massive concrete arch structures, two over the Cedar River (Both destroyed by floods in 2008) and a good passenger service.

From Waverly, it would head south until Cedar Falls where it would enter residential areas until leaving Waterloo.
From here it would go through Gilbertville, Brandon, Urbana, Center Point and Hiawatha before finally arriving in Cedar Rapids.
The northern connections included Chicago Great Western (Des Moines-Oelwein), Illinois Central (Omaha-Chicago), and Chicago Rock Island & Pacific (Twin Cities-Burlington).
Southern connections included the same Rock Island and a branch of the Illinois Central Line, a Rock Island line to Oelwein, the Chicago & Northwestern and Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific mainlines from Chicago to Omaha, and the Cedar Rapids Iowa City Railroad, another electric shortline.
Passenger services lasted well into the 1950s, and freight was competitive.

For the Illinois Central and Rock Island, the line was a bonus. Both their lines were filled up, so in 1958 the IC and RI teamed up to purchase the WCF&N and renamed it the Waterloo Railroad.
Rock Island sold its portion to IC in 1968, and in 1985 almost all of the tracks were abandoned, with the exception of a small industrial lead in Cedar Falls.
Today, the IC is owned by Canadian National, and the branch line serves only a handful of industries. The remainder of the line is part of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail.

This bridge is a little concrete arch bridge over Hackett Road on the border of Waterloo and Cedar Falls.
Built in 1916, the bridge now serves a small mountain bike trail, which appears to be rather unmaintained.
Overall, the bridge remains in good condition.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the minimal remains of the Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern.
The photo above is an overview. It can be accessed from the road below.


Source Type


Build Date Date Plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

Widget is loading comments...

© Copyright 2010- John Marvig and Contributors. All Rights Reserved