The Bridges of Valley City
Valley City, North Dakota
Welcome to the Bridges of Valley City...
In 1872 the Northern Pacific railroad crossed the Sheyenne River of Southeastern North Dakota and the city known as Second Crossing was founded - this settlement later changed its name to Valley City.
Before the railroad, settlers had to forge the river at a spot locally known as Morrison's Ford - about at the place where the Rainbow Bridge stands today. As Valley City grew and roads were built, numerous bridges had to
be constructed to span the winding Sheyenne River. This is the virtual tour of those historic and scenic bridges. Enjoy!
See more photos of the Bridges of Valley City
1. West City Park Bridge: Virtual Tour
The West City Park Bridge was built in 1929. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
2. City Park Footbridge: Virtual Tour 1 Virtual Tour 2
Sometimes called the "Elks Bridge", the City Park Footbridge connects City Park to Main Street. Originally this bridge was a wooden structure but in 1911 it was rebuilt using steel.
3. VCSU Footbridge: Virtual Tour 1 Virtual Tour 2
In 1892 a single wooden plank footbridge with handrails was
constructed in order to link the college to the rest of the city. Then in 1901 a particularly ornate three-span, 150 foot long suspension footbridge was constructed. The VCSU Footbridge is the only one of its kind in North Dakota.
4. Mill Dam Bridge: Virtual Tour
Located near the first flour mill built in Valley City (1878), the Mill Dam Bridge was originally a wooden structure built in 1898. It was then replaced in 1936-37 with a reinforced concrete structure with a railing similar to the City Park bridges. Finally in 1991, the new concrete bridge was constructed.
5. Rainbow Bridge: Virtual Tour 1 Virtual Tour 2
This is the sight of the first bridge built in Valley City (1879). The original wooden bridge was deemed unsafe and was replaced by a steel structure in 1899. The current arched bridge, the only one of its kind in North Dakota, was built in 1925-26. It weighs an estimated 1,655 tons and is one of the few "Rainbow Arch" bridges still in use today. The Rainbow Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
6. Hospital Bridge: Virtual Tour 1 Virtual Tour 2
The original wooden bridge was built in 1929 to provide easier access to the Country Club and Northwest Nursery farm. This bridge was rebuilt in 1954. Then in 1982 this bridge was replaced with the current bridge - a 3-span, 255 foot concrete structure.
7. Highline Bridge: Virtual Tour
At 3,860 feet long and 162 feet above the river bed, the Highline Bridge is one of the longest and highest single-track railroad bridges in the nation. Work began on June 30, 1906 and the first train crossed on May 12, 1908. 14,000,000 pounds of steel, 10,000 cubic feet of concrete, and 80,000 linear feet of wood piling were used to construct this bridge. The Highline Bridge, because of its vital importance in moving supplies and men, was closely guarded during both World Wars to prevent sabotage.
8. Maryvale Bridge: Virtual Tour
A wooden bridge was originally built at this site in 1935, was reconstructed in 1969 and then totally replaced in 1995. Maryvale is the Provincial Center for the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation for the United States Province. The Sisters of Mary of the Presentation is a Roman Catholic religious women's community founded in 1828 in Broons, France.
For more complete information as well as a street map showing the exact locations of the above bridges please see Valley City's Bridge Tour page Click Here