Dubuque Loses Historic Bridge

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

The Catfish Creek Bridge near the Mississippi River floats on a barge as after being replaced in Dubuque on Thursday August 30. 2012. It was built and put into place back in 1895. (Brent Horstmann/KCRG TV-9-The Gazette)


By Liz Blood

DUBUQUE, Iowa - A Dubuque icon is gone. Crews from Canadian Pacific removed a 117-year-old railroad bridge and replaced it with a new one.

The bridge crosses the Catfish Creek near the Mines of Spain Park.

It seems anyone who grew up along the Mississippi River in Dubuque has a story about the Catfish Creek Bridge.

Ron Mueller said, "I've been fishing down here when I was a little boy and that bridge has been here."

But perhaps Jack Rolling, 85 and Howard Higgly,90 have been telling the story the longest.

Rolling said, "In 1946 I was walking down here and a girl yelled "Jack!" and I thought, what? A rattle snake? She says "no, you are getting bald!" that was the minute I knew I was old."

Old? Maybe. But they remember it all. And it's difficult to watch it go.

Rolling said, "the new bridges are just a cold piece of steel. So we lose a lot of architectural memories."

Just a couple of "young at hearts" watching history fade away.

Park Rangers say they do not plan to salvage the old bridge. Instead, they'll cut it up into pieces and use it as scrap metal.

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