You are here

Fairview-Cartwright Lift Bridge and Railroad Tunnel

-A A +A
1913. South side of ND 200, over the Yellowstone River, 1 mile west of Cartwright
  • (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

Built by the Great Northern Railway, the multiple-span, through-truss lift bridge spanning the Yellowstone River (visible from ND 200 crossing bridge) is a well-preserved example of early-twentieth-century railroad bridge engineering. The bridge replaced a ferryboat in the same location. Although river traffic had ceased long before construction, federal regulators deemed the Yellowstone to be a navigable waterway, necessitating a lift mechanism. Today, this is the lone vertical lift bridge in the state. The bridge connects with a curved tunnel as the railroad ascends the east bank into North Dakota. A gatehouse keeper stationed twenty-four hours a day at the east end of the bridge collected a small toll for raising the gate to allow automobiles and farm trucks to cross the planks on the same span that accommodated railroad trains.

Writing Credits

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


What's Nearby


Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Fairview-Cartwright Lift Bridge and Railroad Tunnel", [Fairview, 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, 152-152.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.