BNSF 4th Street Bridge (West)

I-Beam Bridge over 4th Street
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name BNSF 4th Street Bridge (West)
Built By Northern Pacific Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 65 Feet Total, 30 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 13 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type I-Beam
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Steel Tower
Date Built 1907
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Unused
Significance Local Significance
In 1885, the Saint Paul & Northern Pacific Railroad would build a line from Northtown in Minneapolis, to 7th Street in Saint Paul; a distance of 15 miles.
The line served as a connection point, with several lines heading west at Northtown, and connections to Chicago at St. Paul.
The railroad became part of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1896, which had constructed many lines expanding to the west coast.
The railroad continued to serve as a mainline, being double tracked very soon after construction.

By 1970, the NP merged with rival Great Northern, as well as Chicago, Burlington & Quincy to form Burlington Northern.
BN continued to maintain this as a high priority line. By 1996, the BN merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway to form BNSF Railway.
BNSF continues to operate this line as the St. Paul Subdivision, and is the busiest section of track in Minnesota.

This bridge crosses 4th Street on the former passenger spur to the St. Paul Union Depot.
However, much of the original trackage towards the depot has been removed. Despite the recent renovations, this bridge is still unused.
Built in 1907, this bridge sits on stone abutments and a steel pier. These stone abutments also form a retaining wall.
Many other bridges, serving the Soo Line, Milwaukee Road, Chicago & North Western and Great Northern also crossed at this location.
These bridges have been removed.

The author has ranked this remaining bridge of local significance, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Northern Pacific Bridge Book, provided by Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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