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Imperial Avenue Bridge

Ridge Road Bridge (Iowa Number 197890)

   


Imperial Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 2, 2009
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Imperial Avenue (Ridge Road) Over North Skunk River
Location
Kellogg: Jasper County, Iowa
Structure Type
Metal 6 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1898 By Builder/Contractor: Marshalltown Bridge and Iron Works of Marshalltown, Iowa

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1975
Main Span Length
100 Feet (30.5 Meters)
Structure Length
240.2 Feet (73.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
15.4 Feet (4.7 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 4 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
197890

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This Bridge No Longer Exists!

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This bridge was demolished, with no replacement planned!

This bridge is an attractive structure that has been closed and abandoned on the edge of Kellogg. From the north, an industrial area has taken over the old road, but the road remains in use south of the bridge to US-6. According to Dave Darby of the Route 6 Tourist Association, the bridge carried several important routes up until 1928, including a road called the River to River Road, Iowa Primary Road 7, the Detroit Lincoln Denver Highway, and finally US 32 until 1928.

In 2010, Dave Darby provided the following additional history about the River to River Road including the fact that the highway is now 100 years old: "It is Iowa's oldest highway, known back then as an "Auto Trail". Rather than numbers, all the routes had names, and corresponding symbols that would be painted on telephone poles along the way. The route is named such, because it spans from the Mississippi River at Davenport (Rock Island Arsenal bridge) to The Missouri River at Council Bluffs (Ak Sar Ben Bridge - non-extant) The River to River Road celebrates its 100th anniversary this year."

The bridge includes four metal stringer approach spans and a single six panel main truss span. The truss is traditionally composed and appears to retain excellent historic integrity. It is historically significant as a good representative example of truss bridges being built around 1900. Bridges from this period are important examples of how the period of experimentation seen in the few decades leading up to 1900 had ended and the design of pin-connected truss bridges had become standardized and lacked innovative or distinctive details when compared with other bridges from the same period. As the 20th Century began, pinned connections would then begin to fade out in favor of riveted connections.

The bridge should also be considered historically significant for its association with historic highways and historical paths of travel.

As of 2014, this historic bridge has been demolished. The county claimed it was a liability as an abandoned structure. Claims of liability are unsubstantiated by fact as research conducted by organizations like the SRI Foundation has been unable to find any frequency of lawsuits relating to historic bridges. Furthermore, many abandoned bridges nationwide remain without issues. And finally, posting of "No Trespassing" or "Use at Own Risk" types of signage may further help relieve liability.

John Hammerly was kind enough to supply the below historical photo of the bridge, which shows the bridge with original railing and builder plaque intact. The text was legible and allowed for identification of the builder of the bridge: 1898 BUILT BY MARSHALLTOWN BRIDGE AND IRON WORKS MARSHALLTOWN IA."

As documented in 2009 this bridge's truss span sat on rolled h-pile style beams. This type of beam was not in use in 1898 for substructures. Further the historical photo shows no approach spans. This suggests the bridge was raised up on new substructure at some time after the historical photo was taken, likely to provide better clearance for flood waters.

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Photos and Videos: Imperial Avenue Bridge

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