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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Sioux City Railroad Bridge
BNSF Missouri River Railroad Crossing
Sioux City, IA

Sioux City Railroad Bridge

• Structure ID: N/A
• Location: River Mile 730.5
• River Elevation: 1,078 Feet
• Railroad: BNSF Railroad
• Daily Traffic Count: 14 Trains Per Day (Estimated)
• Bridge Type: Steel Through Truss
• Length: 1,500 Feet, 425 Foot Longest Span (Estimated)
• Width: 1 Track
• Navigation Channel Width: 400 Feet
• Height Above Water: 81 Feet
• Date Built: Opened Circa 1982
The original bridge at this location was built by the Omaha Road (Chicago, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha Railroad) and opened in December of 1888. The Omaha Road was owned by the Chicago & North Western Railway, and eventually fell under the C&NW brand name. The Great Northern Railroad leased trackage rights on the bridge, which were later transferred to the CB&Q, which became part of the Burlington Northern in the 1970 merger. At that time, the C&NW traffic had fallen, and the BN was the major user of the bridge.

By the mid-1970s, the C&NW bridge was rapidly becoming obsolete. It was nearly 100 years old, and could not support the ever heavier rail traffic. As a result, a plan was hatched where the C&NW bridge would be removed, and Burlington Northern would build a modern rail bridge over the Missouri River. The C&NW would have trackage rights on the new bridge in compensation for their bridge being demolished. The new bridge opened in 1982. Since that time, the C&NW was merged into the Union Pacific, which uses the C&NW trackage rights. The BN merged with the Santa Fe to become the BNSF Railway.

The BNSF Bridge is a heavy structure. The 425 foot main span is a single truss span. It is supported on two very hefty piers, which are needed to stand up to the spring floods and winter ice on the Missouri River. The main span is flanked by a number of plate deck girder spans that feature steel plates that are approximately 15 feet tall. The west end of the bridge is accessible from a city park. The east end crosses Interstate I-29, which limits any access to the east end of the structure.

Sioux City Railroad Bridge
Sioux City Railroad Bridge
Sioux City Railroad Bridge
Sioux City Railroad Bridge
Sioux City Railroad Bridge
Sioux City Railroad Bridge

Sioux City Railroad Bridge
Sioux City Railroad Bridge

Sioux City Railroad Bridge

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