Bridgehunter’s Chronicles Newsflyer 17 April, 2014

Columbus Junction Bridge, spanning Iowa River on former Tyson Line. Photo taken by John Marvig in 2013

Bridgehunter’s Chronicles back online after shutdown; Abandoned Iowa Railroad Bridge to be removed this year.

The publication of the articles under sister column The Flensburg Files will only occur once. After determining the cause of the shutdown, which was an overzealous spam filter that has been spamming many (high quality) online columns belonging to the Area Voices family, the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles is now back online. Readers can now access the Chronicles and the articles from here on out, while the Files will resume its duties with German-American topics, including places to visit and special projects, including the current one on schooling in Germany in comparison with the USA. However, this may not be the only time that the Chronicles will operate under the Files. The spam filter may cause havoc again which will justify correcting the problem. In addition, the Chronicles may be upgrading to a website in general in the future, which will result in some detours along the way. The Chronicles will inform you of the changes as soon as they come about.

A sad note with this newsflyer is the fact that one of the bridges in the US is coming down soon. The Columbus Junction Railroad Bridge, spanning the Iowa River in Louisa County, features three Parker through truss spans and wooden trestle spans, all built in 1894 and serving the spur line to the Tyson Turkey plant north of Columbus Junction until 2008. There, flooding washed out the approach spans, leaving the truss spans left standing. Rails were removed three years later, thus abandoning the line.  Formerly part of the Iowa Chicago and Eastern Railroad system, the bridge is now being scheduled for removal beginning this year. An agreement was made between Iowa’s State Historic Preservation Office and the US Army Corps. of Engineer to allow for SHPO to document the bridge, while the ACE lets out a contract to a construction company to remove the bridge.  When exactly this will take place this year is unknown. But given the high number of historic bridges being abandoned for long periods of time, many agencies on the state and national levels are not taking any chances because of liability concerns.  While this topic will be brought up in the Chronicles as there are many bridges that have been or will be removed after sitting abandoned for years, the Columbus Junction Bridge will be missed because of its unique design and its historic significance in relation with the rail line that joined others at Columbus Junction.