Sunday, November 2, 2014

Historic Rosalia Railroad Bridge

This weekend Wayne and I took Highway 195 from Spokane to Pullman for the Washington State University vs. University of California football game.  Wayne did the driving. That gave me lots of time to watch the scenery and take pictures.

The two lane road follows undulating hills of grain dotted with beautiful barns. Another interesting sight along the way was an old, concrete arched bridge. It took some searching, but using Google maps in the satellite view I was able to locate it just of Highway 195 near Rosalia, Washington.

The Rosalia Railroad Bridge was built in 1915 by the by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Where freight and passenger service once ran, now the John Wayne Pioneer Trail exists. When the railroad went bankrupt in 1980, the right-of-way was obtained by the State of Washington. From the Washington/Idaho border to near Seattle, the old rail bed provides a dedicated route for non-motorized use.

The concrete bridge seems out of place in these hills better known for wheat production. But in its day, it provided an important link for the busy route from back east to the west coast. The arches are a classic design, helping the bridge get recognition in the National Register of Historic Places.

The bridge has two spans. The shorter 114 foot section is over Northern Pacific tracks. The longer 502 foot span crosses Pine Creek and the Old State Highway. Want a unique experience? Check out the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons and Riders Association. They have an annual Cross State Ride along this unique trail. No horse or wagon? Hikers and bike riders are also welcome. Or watch the Rosalia Battle Days parade to see riders and wagons pass through town. -- Margy

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Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy