UP Water Street Bridge (St. Paul)

Steel Stringer Bridge over Water Street
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota

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Name UP Water Street Bridge (St. Paul)
Built By Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 76 Feet Total, 26 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 12 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Steel Stringer and Wooden Trestle
Substructure Type Timber Pile
Date Built Ca. 1905
Traffic Count 15 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 2.53
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 standard steel stringer bridge crosses Water Street (County Road 40).
Reportedly built in 1905, the bridge features a steel stringer main span approached by wooden trestle spans on either side.
The bridge rests on wooden substructures. The 1905 date provided by the National Bridge Inventory may be incorrect.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair condition.

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 2012 National Bridge Inventory
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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