Mississippi River Crossings

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Posted by Big_Boy_4005 on Thursday, August 25, 2005 10:32 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by DanRaitz

Are we ready to renumber every bridge?
I was going through some of my papers and came across a partial copy of the 1914 Sanborn map of Bemidji, MN. It shows 4 RR bridges on the Mississippi River between Lake Irvine and Lake Bemidji.

http://www.railimages.com/albums/danielraitz/aci.sized.jpg

The first one was the Minneapolis, Red Lake & Manitoba RR (abandoned, removed 1938).
The second is the Great Northern Rwy (currently in use, BNSF).
The third was the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Ry (abandoned - in place).
And the fourth was the Minnesota & International Ry (later Northern Pacific) (abandoned, removed).
Dan


Dan, fortunately I haven't gotten around to my renumbering after the second addition. This means I won't have to shoot you. I'm waiting til the dust settles.[swg]
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Posted by MP173 on Friday, August 26, 2005 4:36 PM
I dont have anything to add to this, but in my limited travels across the Mississippi, I have always enjoyed not only the railroad bridges, but also simply crossing the river.

Great job to you guys.

ed
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Posted by dmcclendon on Saturday, August 27, 2005 4:19 PM
Whenever I travel to Memphis I always try to use the I-55 Bridge so I can watch Rail traffic on the Frisco and Harahan Bridges.
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Posted by nanaimo73 on Saturday, August 27, 2005 10:20 PM
Thanks for the help guys.
Dan-I still need 5 more to make 60.[:D]
Elliot-Would Dave Zuhn know when the SPB&T bridge first opened ?
I have added google links for 24 bridges. These have better pictures but you need to click on satellite.
Dale
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Posted by Big_Boy_4005 on Sunday, August 28, 2005 2:38 AM
Dale, he might. His model railroad is based on that part of the metro area, more so than mine is. He has done a good deal of research to create his design. If you'd like, I could ask him, since I had wanted to talk to him anyway.

I haven't had a chance to look at the new pictures yet, I'm falling asleep.[|)][zzz][zzz]
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Posted by DanRaitz on Sunday, September 4, 2005 10:15 PM
Does anybody know how the "Huey P. Long" bridge handled Katrina?

Dan
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Posted by UPTRAIN on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 6:59 AM
I noticed in that first post that some of my photos came up in the search, I love this one: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=88481 that was a joy to make, lol. Try a keyword search on "Thebes Bridge", more should come up....ahh...I did for you: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/srchThumbs.aspx?srch=thebes+bridge .

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 26, 2005 8:39 PM
wow--all I can say is that someone has done a lot of diligent work! we should all be
grateful for this excellent contribution. I am not familiar with the upper Mississippi. I
have crossed by rail at Newport, twice on the Milw Rd, at Ft Madison, Merchants, Eads,
and MacArthur at St Louis, both at Memphis, and Huey Long at New Orleans. I have
also used road vehicles by several where this was possible [some still rail have been
closed to vehicular]. is McKinley at St Louis closed to vehicular? We may need new
rail bridges to relieve New Orleans, especially if the Old River Structure fails and sends
the Mississippi out through the Atchafalaya 80 miles west of New Orleans. Several
geologists think this a real, even eventual, possibility.
Theo Sommerkamp crosstie@wowway.com
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Posted by The Block House on Friday, September 30, 2005 9:26 PM
Having grown up in Memphis I have always been partial to the bridges of the lower Mississippi River. (Caro to head of pass south of New Orleans). The bridges are bigger , taller and the distance between crossings are greater. I have always told my non -railroad frinds that the crossings of the Mississippe River are the heart of the economey of middle America.
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Posted by blhanel on Sunday, October 16, 2005 11:11 PM
Hey nanaimo73, I have some new shots of #33 in Dubuque if you're interested.
http://blhanel.rrpicturearchives.net/archivethumbs.aspx?id=7519
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Posted by nanaimo73 on Monday, October 17, 2005 9:26 AM
Thanks Brian.
I went to add them in and I ended up just adding this one by mistake.
http://blhanel.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=207431  
Nice shot. Looks like you had a good day.
How does this bridge operate ? I would assume it is open for barges 90% of the time and CN has an operator there 24-7 ? Have you had thoughts of running across ?
Something like that would be easier up north.
Dale
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Posted by blhanel on Monday, October 17, 2005 4:07 PM
There was a pickup truck parked immediately behind where I took that picture from, I assume it belonged to the operator. I walked over to the track and looked down through the bridge, and saw the operator standing near the middle of the second span, which rotates on the pier that it is centered on. I wasn't going to even attempt to walk out there. I suspect that it does have to be manned 24/7, since if it's open the operator is stuck out there, and there's more barge and large boat traffic than there is train traffic on that bridge.

EDIT: I bet it's not 24/7 starting sometime in late December or early January, for about three months! Extended vacations for the operators...
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Posted by riverrailfan on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 12:04 AM
I've been trying to research bridge 29 in Winona,MN for about a year and have given up for now as the info is not out there. I've spent my summers of my childhood in Winona watching the trains cross the #29 swing bridge. I never knew #30 exsisted until a year ago as that bidge was on the eastside of town which is industrial. Actually my grandparents did live pretty close to it. My last visit to Winona in July gave me alittle more info on where to look for history on the town. So that will be part of my next visit.
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Posted by Victrola1 on Monday, November 14, 2005 3:09 PM
#38 Keithsburg, IL M&StL

I believe what remains of this bridge was constructed around 1912. You can see the piers nearby of the earlier Iowa Central structure it replaced. "Mile Posts on the Prairie" will tell you more if you can find a copy of this M&StL history. As a kid, I remember riding a jon boat under the bridge while a string of M&StL F units pulled an impressive length of freight cars overhead. Passenger traffic never figured large on this route.

The C&NW was quick to downgrade the Oskaloosa, IA to Peoria, IL mainline of the old M&StL. Around 1972, the line through Keithsburg was abandon. The bridge and a short stretch of track remained between Keithsburg, IL. & Oakville, IA.

The elevator in Oakville was reportedly interested in using the bridge to drop grain directly from hopper cars into barges. There was even talk of rebuilding track west to Morning Sun, IA and a connection with the Rock Island running between Burlington, IA and the Twin Cities. The Rock Island bankruptcy resulted in abandonment between Burlington and Cedar Rapids, IA. Nothing ever came of this rail to river transfer plan.

The M&StL bridge was an impressive vertical lift span. I say was.

Once abandon, the lift span was hauled up so barges could pass. In the early 1980's, local youths decided to include the M&StL bridge in their July 4th celebrations. They scaled the lift span up to the the bridge tender's shack and threw fireworks inside.

The resulting fire fueled by old grease caused the lift cables to fail. The lift span fell into the river blocking commercial navigation for several days. The US Army Corps of Engineers dynamited the lift span and removed the remains.

Other than the lift span, the M&StL bridge remains. Conversation with locals in a Keithsburg tavern over a decade ago brought up the Corps leaving the rest of the bridge in place since it was no hazard to navigation and could be quickly made capable of hauling heavy vehicles in case of "national emergency."

The M&StL bridge is the only one crossing the Mississipp Between Muscatine, IA and Burlington, IA., a distance of 50 - 55 miles. Proposals to refit the bridge for highway traffic have surfaced. Width is a problem as the bridge is only a single track structure.
Again, talk is as far it this has gotten.

If you wi***o view this structue, forget about doing so from the west without a jon boat. There is no road access anywhere near where it reaches Iowa. A steel trestle carries the bridge across a slough from Iowa to an island. From this island to Illinois, large steel trusses span the gap between piers. The void over the navigation channel where the lift span was is close to the Illinois shore.

Your best view of this bridge is from where Keithsburg's main street is stopped by the Mississippi. Ammenities in Keithsburg are few. Keithsburg never was very large and the flood of 1993 wiped out much of what was. Keithsburg is between IL 92 and US 34 on the Illinois Great River Road. This scenic byway is well marked.

Access to the bridge on foot is no longer possible. The M&StL right of way between IL 17 and the bridge was ripped out to aid drainage. If you wi***o make physical contact with the bridge, bring a boat.


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Posted by wpayne on Monday, November 14, 2005 7:01 PM
I might have missed it in the forum, but did you note how long the bridges are? Which one is the longest and the shortest?
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Posted by Trailryder on Monday, November 14, 2005 9:35 PM
Here are 2 pictures of two differant bridges that I have visited.

Bridge 34 Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific Between Sabula Iowa and Savanna Illinois


Bridge 43 Wabash bridge between Hannibal Missouri and East Hannibal Illinois

http://www.pbase.com/trailryder/random
Enjoy,
Later Bill
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Posted by UPTRAIN on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 12:30 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by nanaimo73

St. Louis
Bridge #46 is called Merchants bridge. It opened in 1890 and has been operated by Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis since.
http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=12&Z=15&X=931&Y=5355&W
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.675158,-90.186961&spn=0.005045,0.009887
http://bridges.midwestplaces.com/mo/st-louis-city/merchants/
Amtrak uses Merchants bridge for Chicago-St. Louis trains
Status-good

St. Louis
Bridge #48 is Eads bridge. This was the first St. Louis bridge, opening in 1874. The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis was formed in 1889 to run the bridge. The last rail traffic was in 1974 and the bridge was traded to the City in 1989. The St. Louis Metrolink light rail system now uses the bridge. The Gateway arch is on the west bank just to the north.
http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=11&Z=15&X=1864&Y=10698&W
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.628999,-90.179418&spn=0.005048,0.009887
http://bridges.midwestplaces.com/mo/st-louis-city/eads/
www.asce.org/history/brdg_eads.html
127 b/w and 1 color photo of this bridge can be seen on the following website by searching "mississippi bridge" and going to #9
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer/
Eads bridge was used by Amtrak for the National Limited until October 1, 1979.
Status-abandoned (by railroads)

St. Louis
Bridge #49 is named MacArthur bridge. This was built by the city because the other two bridges were owned by the TRRA. MacArthur opened in 1907 and was traded to the TRRA in 1989. A train can be seen on the east end of the bridge.
http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=11&Z=15&X=1863&Y=10694&W
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.614465,-90.184654&spn=0.005049,0.009887
http://bridges.midwestplaces.com/mo/st-louis-city/macarthur/
73 b/w photos of this bridge can be seen on the following website by searching "mississippi bridge" and going to #18
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer/
Amtrak used this bridge for the River Cities from April 29, 1984 until November 4, 1993. Status-good


I found a couple errors there, Bridge # 46, the Merchant's Bridge is rarely used by Amtrak. It more commonly uses #49, The MacArthur Bridge, the Eads Bridge # 48 now carries highway traffic on a new overhead deck. Hope this helps![:D]

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Posted by Victrola1 on Friday, November 18, 2005 1:20 PM
http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/army&CISOPTR=368&REC=4

I found this link to an 1889 photo of the Iowa Central Railroad bridge at Keithsburg, IL. From the looks of it, a 40 ton tractor trailer would strain its capacity. This bridge was replaced around 1912. The cut stone piers of the first bridge are askew, but still visible next the abandon 1912 structure.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 19, 2005 3:44 PM
Sorry to intrude, but I am very lost! Will you guys please help a pitiful single mom here? I need to know where to go to learn how to start with trains. I would like to buy my 8 year old son a starter set for Christmas, but I want to do it right! I hope it will be something he enjoys for years. Thank you so much!
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 19, 2005 3:45 PM
Again, BIG sorry! Posted my request to the wrong place. I am looking for MODEL trains. :)
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Posted by nanaimo73 on Sunday, November 20, 2005 12:15 AM
Zach (UPTRAIN), thanks for the update on Amtrak, and the Thebes pictures.
Victrola1-I really enjoyed your post, and I added that link.
Bill (Trailryder)- thanks for the photos, I put the second one in my post.
wpayne- I'm pretty sure the Huey P Long is the longest, and the Bemidji survivor is probably the shortest.
riverrailfan- thanks for the Winona link.
Brian (blhanel)- I put all of your shots in.

Thanks everyone !
[:)]
Dale
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 20, 2005 7:04 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by sommerkamp

wow--all I can say is that someone has done a lot of diligent work! we should all be
grateful for this excellent contribution. I am not familiar with the upper Mississippi. I
have crossed by rail at Newport, twice on the Milw Rd, at Ft Madison, Merchants, Eads,
and MacArthur at St Louis, both at Memphis, and Huey Long at New Orleans. I have
also used road vehicles by several where this was possible [some still rail have been
closed to vehicular]. is McKinley at St Louis closed to vehicular? We may need new
rail bridges to relieve New Orleans, especially if the Old River Structure fails and sends
the Mississippi out through the Atchafalaya 80 miles west of New Orleans. Several
geologists think this a real, even eventual, possibility.
Theo Sommerkamp crosstie@wowway.com
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 20, 2005 7:05 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by sommerkamp

wow--all I can say is that someone has done a lot of diligent work! we should all be
grateful for this excellent contribution. I am not familiar with the upper Mississippi. I
have crossed by rail at Newport, twice on the Milw Rd, at Ft Madison, Merchants, Eads,
and MacArthur at St Louis, both at Memphis, and Huey Long at New Orleans. I have
also used road vehicles by several where this was possible [some still rail have been
closed to vehicular]. is McKinley at St Louis closed to vehicular? We may need new
rail bridges to relieve New Orleans, especially if the Old River Structure fails and sends
the Mississippi out through the Atchafalaya 80 miles west of New Orleans. Several
geologists think this a real, even eventual, possibility.
Theo Sommerkamp crosstie@wowway.com


The McKinley is closed at present for the purpose of restoring the bridge. It is scheduled to reopen in 2007.
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Posted by Trailryder on Thursday, November 24, 2005 12:56 AM
I was in Clinton Iowa today and took some photos(7) of Mississippi bridge #35, to see them goto: http://www.pbase.com/trailryder/random

UP bridge over Mississippi at Clinton, Iowa swing span open.

I also took the time to look up the history of this bridge as published in the Whiteside County History Book by Wayne Bastian.
here is the scan, some of the dates are off from your info by a year.

Taken from
A History of Whiteside County Illinois
By Wayne Bastian
Copyright 1968
Page 121 & 125


Even before the railroad tracks arrived at Fulton City, prelimin­ary plans were being made to cross the great river which was a bar­rier to the westward advance of the Iron Horse. In 1853, a legislative act authorized the formation of the Mississippi Railroad Bridge Co. and gave it permission to cross the river at the Narrows at Fulton City. The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad Company acquired con­trol of the charter.
The company began a series of negotiations with the Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad Co. as to the location of the bridge and little progress was made. In 1859 an agreement was reached but the Illinois company's officials failed to approve of the deal and lost the
charter. The Iowa company immediately started negotiations with a company which had acquired the bridge charter of the defunct Cam­anche, Albany and Mendota Railroad Co. Work commenced on J anu­ary 15, 1859 and the bridge was built to Little Rock Island.
On January 19, 1860, the first train ran from Fulton to the island where it was greeted with a salute of 12 guns. Freight had been transferred across the river by steamboat or teams when the ice was thick enough. With the completion of the first part of the bridge, freight cars were transferred to a specially-built steamboat! the Union, and carried across the intervening space. It has been claimed that in the year of 1861 tracks were laid on the ice to the island and freight cars were hauled across by ropes.
During the year 1864, the rest of the bridge was completed. It was during the same year that the Galena and Chicago Union compa­ny was consolidated with the Chicago and Northwestern railroad and lost its identity. In 1866 the Chicago and Northwestern company built the big grain elevator at Fulton on the riverfront. Millions of bushels of wheat were transferred from the river boats during the ensuing years and it was razed in 1897 when there was no longer need for it.
In 1886, work of making the line double-tracked was started and, in 1907, a new bridge replaced the early one. It was also double­tracked and the cost was believed to be about $2,000,000.

When the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy company reached the Chicago and Northwestern's right-of-way near the bridge, it was stopped short of its two goals, entry into Fulton and permission to use the bridge. The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Company obtained a permanent injunction forbidding the rival company to cross its property and refused to allow it to cross into Iowa. During the 1870s, the frustrated company drove a few pilings into the river bot­tom near the mouth of Cedar Creek. If it was a threatening move­ment planned to force the Chicago and Northwestern company, it fail­ed in its purpose.
Ten years of futile manoeuvring passed and, in 1882, the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company made determined prepara­tions to cross the forbidden right-of-way. The company was protect­ed by an $8,000 bond, furnished by Fulton citizens, to protect it against suit. Fulton businessmen also applied pressure on the officials of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Company. Just before a scheduled court hearing, the argument was negotiated and the long­denied permission was granted to cross over and enter Fulton.
The Chicago and Northwestern railroad bridge was still forbid­den territory to the other company and the editor of the Fulton Jour­nal commented on the impasse and declared that it would be a "cold day" when the Burlington line would get permission to cross into Clinton. The editor was right. On January 20, 1885, the first Chi­cago, Burlington and Quincy train crossed the river and the ther­mometer registered a chill 25 degrees below zero.


Later Bill
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Posted by engineer on Friday, December 2, 2005 7:09 PM
Here is some additional information to the ferry crossing at Ste.Genevieve, MO. There was a ferry that crossed the Mississippi from Thomure, MO to Kellog, IL. (I don't belive Thomure exists anymore) This line started life as the Illinois-Southern RR. It ran from Bismarck,MO to Centralia,IL. It was later named the Mike 'n Ike, (MoPac), and it is still there, on the MO side, with ownership being the Union Pacific.

Also, a couple of miles south of that, there was a ferry crossing around Chester,IL. It was located at the Northern end of the Louis Houck Railroad. Officially known as the "Cape Girardeau Northern" I do not remember that station's name anymore. But, the ferry crossed from here to Chester.
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Posted by Big_Boy_4005 on Saturday, December 3, 2005 11:57 PM
Dale, you have done a fantastic job researching and compiling all this information. It was a lot of fun working with you on this. I think the magazine editor should really consider doing a two part series. They probably have more photos in their archives to compliment the information here. It would be even more interesting if they published this link in the story.

OK, so much for a day of self imposed, introspective, silence.[;)] Here we go, over the top. [tup][swg]

This is the tying post.
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Posted by Victrola1 on Tuesday, January 3, 2006 4:59 PM
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=hhphoto&action=browse&fileName=ia/ia0100/ia0172/photos/browse.db&recNum=0&itemLink=&linkText=-1&title2=Burlington%20Bridge,%20Burlington,%20Des%20Moines%20County,%20IA&displayType=-1&maxCols=4

46 black & white photos showing in great detail the CB&Q swing span over the Mississippi at Burlington, IA. The swing span has been determined as a hazard to navigation and is slated to be replaced with a lift span.
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Posted by steve14 on Thursday, January 5, 2006 7:04 PM
One big resource you should try to find is the two volume set of books by Mary Costello. Climbing the Mississippi River Bridge by Bridge. Volume 1 published in 1995 and Volume 2 in 2002. Volume 1 goes from Louisiana to the Minnesota border and Volume 2 from there to the headwaters. The book contains a hand drawing by the author of EVERY bridge over the Mississippi River, plus several of the approaches over major connecting bodies of water.

ISBN's for the books are-- Vol 1 0-9644518-0-8, Vol 2 0-9644518-2-4

She has a short write up about each bridge and gives a pretty reliable history of ownership, use, designer, etc.

I contributed some info on the SOO/CP bridges for Volume 2.
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Posted by beaulieu on Sunday, February 5, 2006 12:15 AM
Dale, there is another crossing not covered yet. And to boot it is still somewhat active. It gets used once or twice per year. The bridge is owned by the State of Minnesota, and connects the NP to the National Guard base at Camp Ripley, MN. This is between Little Falls and Brainerd. It is a combined road and highway bridge sharing the same deck (the rails are in the pavement). BNSF power is used to bring equipment in or out.
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Posted by nanaimo73 on Sunday, February 5, 2006 9:59 AM
Thanks John.
I found it, Camp Ripley Junction-
http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=11&Z=15&X=992&Y=12757&W=1&qs=%7ccamp+ripley%7c%7c  

Steve, thanks for the note on those books.

Elliot, and everyone else, thanks for your help.


Smile [:)]Smile [:)]
Dale

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