Browse Items (16 total)

  • Tags: Illinois Central Railroad Bridge

One Of Many...recent accomplishments in Council Bluffs, the Narrows Pumping Station, lower right, overlooks one of the top potential areas for future development. Among projects being studied is a municipal dock along the near shore of the Missouri…

The Illinois Central draw bridge over the Missouri River is one of the largest of its kind in this country. The Iowa span of the bridge was built in 1893; the Nebraska span later. The Omaha skyline is at the top of this piecture which is looking to…

Trains, like the one at top, have steamed across this bridge for nearly nine decades. It is the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad swing bridge. The Council Bluffs span was built in 1893. A second span, on the Omaha side, was built in 1904 when the…

Manning the entrance of one of two swing bridges in the United States is Bernardo Benavides. The Council Bluffs span was built in 1893, and the Omaha side was built later when the river changed course. Only the Council Bluffs side is used today.

Oiling The Gears . . . in the bridge operating house is Bernardo Benavides, 2000 Fourth Ave., who has been working on the bridge for many years. Power for the swing starts in the operating house and is transmitted to the turntables through heavy…

Many Wheels . . . allow the bulky swing sections to turn on the piers that rest on bedrock. Illinois Central Trainmaster John Moran explained that the weight of the 75 foot wide bridge is not known.

The Illinois Central Missouri River swing bridge is one of only three of its type in the United States and has been serving the railroad since 1893. The first swing span was built on the Iowa side in 1893, but a change in the river channel forced the…

The old Illinois Central railroad bridge on the north edge of Council Bluffs has been a swinger for nearly a century. This old photo (top) shows ladies with parasols crossing the bridge on foot. Below, a bridge tender uses the same route but for a…

Like The Captain Of A Ship . . . Axtell can watch the comings and goings along his stretch of the Missouri River from the observation deck near the control house. An excursion boat passes by as he watches for other traffic.

Opening The East Draw . . . is a noisy business as the 255-foot span swings to allow river traffic through. Here the west span remains closed. A series of gears and two motors completes the turning process.

Although It's Busy . . . when a boat or train comes by, many lonely hours are spent reading or just watching the river for H.J. Axtell, 1518 Avenue J, day bridge engineer. A phone is his only company.

Well-Worn Steps . . . are climbed by the bridge engineer before and after each bridge opening. Rails are loosened downstairs, switches pulled, and motors energized upstairs.

From The Nebraska Side . . . of the drawbridge it is easy to see why it takes 10 to 15 minutes to swing it open. The towboat Davey Crockett pushes a dredging outfit owned by Pentzine Co. of Omaha. Between March 3 and June 24, 213 boats passed through…

Tugboat And Barges Swish Downstream . . . and are framed by the east span of the Illinois Central Railroad's drawbridge north of Council Bluffs. Heavy wheels just above the main gear at left, carry the weight of the two, 522-foot spans or "draws".…

Shown above is a typical scene at the Illinois Central bridge over the Missouri River as it is opened to permit the passage upstream of an army engineer's paddle wheeler with a barge load of building materials. The draw which is open, is on the Iowa…
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