Keithsburg Rail BridgeEdit profile
The Keithsburg Bridge was a vertical lift bridge that carried a single railroad track across the Mississippi River between Louisa County, Iowa and Keithsburg, Illinois.
The bridge was constructed for the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway around 1910 and traffic across the bridge was discontinued in the 1970s. After the line was abandoned, the vertical lift was locked in the up position for several years until the lift portion was accidentally destroyed by fireworks and the ensuing fire on June 30, 1981. The 220-foot (67 m) vertical lift section fell into the river blocking barge traffic on the main channel of the Mississippi River for more than a week until it was removed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The USGS aerial photo from March 2000 shows the bridge standing but missing its vertical lift section.
This bridge replaced a previous Iowa Central railroad bridge, constructed in the 1880s, that crossed at the same location. The old stone piers from the previous bridge still stand next to the current bridge.