saving the Rail Bridge




About US


Cities are defined by their landmarks. They provide both an identity and a sense of history to a community. The BNSF Rail Bridge between Bismarck, ND and Mandan, ND is a cultural landmark of both architectural and historical significance. Having been in service for over 100 years, BNSF wishes to build a new rail bridge across the Missouri River. BNSF's preferred plan includes the eventual demolition of the current rail bridge. 

Friends of the Rail Bridge (FORB) is dedicated to the preservation of the bridge and to repurposing the bridge as a pedestrian and bicycle pathway. Bismarck and Mandan both have a rich network of trails adjacent to the Missouri River. The conversion of the bridge to a pedestrian pathway would provide an interconnection between these trail systems that would be a recreational staple of these communities for generations to come.

The preservation of the bridge will not come without difficulties. Financial, environmental, and engineering challenges will need to be overcome in order to save the bridge. FORB intends to address these concerns and assume responsibility for the rail bridge. 

At a community meeting held at the Bismarck Heritage Center on April 3, 2018, FORB passed a resolution which outlines its intents. A copy of this resolution can be found here.