The Thebes rail bridge was designed by famous bridge builder Ralph Modjeski. The bridge was built very strong given that the structure was designed to carry two tracks, which could see two trains crossing the river at the same time. In addition, it was envisioned that auto traffic would become more popular. The bridge design included provisions to add a car deck at some point in the future. As it turns out, the auto deck was never added. Due to this extra strength, the Thebes rail bridge is known as the strongest bridge to span the Mississippi River.
The bridge abutments are made out of reinforced concrete. While that is common today, this is a very early example of the use of this material. Some considered it risky when it was built. Nevertheless, the bridge is still standing some 100 years later despite being in daily use carrying ever longer and heavier trains.
While the new bridge streamlined rail traffic, the trains now had no reason to stop at Thebes. As a result, the town more or less dried up and blew away. Today, it is little more than a campground, a few seasonal houses, a few older historic homes, and one very nasty public housing complex.
The photo above is the river spans of the Thebes bridge as seen from the east riverbank in the village of Thebes looking to the south.