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Northern Pacific Railway Hi-Line Bridge

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1908, Franklin Brothers, engineers; Morris Company, builders. Railroad track across 5th Ave. NE
  • (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

The high-line trestle bridge was erected during the Second Great Dakota Boom by the Northern Pacific Railway (now BNSF). A substantial engineering feat was necessary to level the grade and supplant the low-line tracks that tortuously descended to the Sheyenne Valley floor and then climbed back out of the valley. The bridge is a riveted-steel structure that, when built, was the largest of its kind in the United States. Using 14 million pounds of steel, it is 3,838 feet long and 154 feet above low water in the Sheyenne River. This bridge was used mostly for transcontinental traffic and remains in use today. It is certainly not a stretch to refer to this engineering structure as iconic, since it is the iconic logo and mascot for Valley City athletic teams, the “Hi-Liners.”

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay


What's Nearby


Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Northern Pacific Railway Hi-Line Bridge", [Valley City, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 62-63.

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