Dubuque Rail Bridge

The Dubuque Rail Bridge carries a single rail line across the Mississippi River between Dubuque, Iowa, and East Dubuque, Illinois, near river mile 580.

Dubuque Rail Bridge
Dubuque Iowa Rail Bridge.jpg
The Dubuque Railroad Bridge.
Coordinates42°29′55″N 90°39′01″W / 42.49861°N 90.65028°W / 42.49861; -90.65028Coordinates: 42°29′55″N 90°39′01″W / 42.49861°N 90.65028°W / 42.49861; -90.65028
CarriesSingle rail track
CrossesMississippi River
LocaleDubuque, Iowa and East Dubuque, Illinois
Maintained byCanadian National Railway
DesignTruss Bridge with Swing-span
OpenedDecember 1868

It is currently operated by Canadian National Railway. as a result of their 1999 purchase of Illinois Central Railroad.


Share of the Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Co., unissued

The original swing bridge was constructed by Andrew Carnegie and operated by the Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Company. Going into service in December 1868,[1] it primarily was used by the Illinois Central Railroad. It was rebuilt in the 1890s.

The current Dubuque Rail Bridge has 5 spans and a swing-span. It has been altered somewhat over the years, with last rehabilitation in 2012, but so far has retained the fixed center pier.[2]


Because of a 150-foot (46 m) bluff very close to the Mississippi riverbank on the Illinois side, about 1/2 mile south of the bridge the approaching railroad track diverges away from the main tracks (and the river) to enter a 1/4-mile tunnel, which then curves about 90-degrees so the bridge track can cross the continuing tracks running adjacent to the river.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ringwalt, J.L. (1888). "Development of Early Transportation Systems in the United States". Retrieved 2008-08-08.
  2. ^ "Dubuque Railroad Bridge (Illinois Central Bridge W182)". "Historic Bridges. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  3. ^ "Canadian National Railroad Bridge, Dubuque, IA". www.johnweeks.com.

External linksEdit