HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

Divider

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Advertisements:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

Divider

Wagon Wheel Bridge

Iowa Bridge Number 77850

   


Wagon Wheel Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 2, 2009
View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
200th Street Over Des Moines River
Location
Rural: Boone County, Iowa
Structure Type
Metal 12 Panel Pin-Connected Pennsylvania Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Wood Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1911 By Builder/Contractor: Iowa Bridge Company of Des Moines, Iowa

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
200 Feet (61 Meters)
Structure Length
703 Feet (214.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
16 Feet (4.9 Meters)
Spans
4 Main Span(s) and 8 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
77850

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This Bridge No Longer Exists!

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

There are several extremely rare and significant pin-connected truss bridges on the Des Moines River, although most are further downstream in the southeast part of Iowa. Each are distinguished as rare surviving examples of large, multi-span examples of their type. Among them, the Wagon Wheel Bridge stands out for its historic integrity, variety of span types and sizes, exhibition of an uncommon Pennsylvania truss span, and for having relatively good historic integrity. Overall, the bridge is a traditionally composed truss in terms of the design of its members and beams. However when all the spans are combined and viewed as a whole, the bridge is unique in appearance and design. The bridge features a large Pennsylvania truss span at the eastern end of the main spans. Pin-connected Pennsylvania truss bridges range from uncommon to outright rare, and each surviving example is significant not only because of its uncommon design but because they tend to be larger and more significant spans. However, the Wagon Wheel Bridge offers so much more than just a Pennsylvania truss span. The remaining three truss spans are pin-connected Pratt truss spans. However the westernmost truss span is shorter than the other two spans in the middle. This shorter span as a result has shorter trusses and slightly lighter weight members. This variety in spans on this bridge makes the structure unique and the bridge is a very beautiful bridge on account of its complex trusses that form a complex geometric art that is unrivaled by any modern bridge. This is a bridge for which preservation is absolutely essential.

From west to east the bridge is configured as followed: One six panel pin-connected Pratt through truss bridge of 96 feet (29.3 meters). Two seven panel pin-connected Pratt through truss bridges each with a length of 124 feet (37.8 meters). One twelve panel pin-connected Pennsylvania through truss bridge of 200 feet (60.96 meters) in length. Eight wooden stringer approach spans with a combined total length of 160 feet (48.8 meters).

Time and other issues prevented HistoricBridges.org from completing a documentation of the parallel historically significant Kate Shelley Bridge, a record-breaking railroad bridge. Review HAER's documentation of the bridge here.

Information and Findings From Iowa's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

"The bridge question is settled," the Boone News-Republican announced in November 1909. "The board of directors of the Boone Commercial association and the [county] board of supervisors met at the office of the former Friday afternoon and talked the matter over with a view to putting an end to the vexed question." The county and a citizens' group from Incline had been arguing for the better part of the year over the site for a wagon bridge over the Des Moines River. The county wanted to build the new structure near the existing Boone Viaduct of the Chicago and North Western Railroad, directly west of Eighth Street in Boone. The citizen's group wanted the reconstruct the Incline Bridge. "The advocates of both sites have been warm in their conquest and the dispute had become quite acrid," the newspaper reported. "The board of course objected to building two bridges and at the same time realized that neither side would take care of the demand and desires of both factions." The Commercial Association offered to buy the Incline Bridge, and the problem was thus resolved.

Using steel rolled in Pittsburgh by Lackawanna and Jones and Laughlin and in Indiana by Inland, The Iowa Bridge Company of Des Moines completed the multiple-span through-truss replacement for the Incline Bridge in 1910. The structure, also called the Wagon Bridge, the Bluff Bridge and the Des Moines River Bridge, consists of a long-span Pennsylvania through-truss over the main channel of the river, with three pinned Pratt trusses over the flood plain on the east, all supported by steel cylinder piers. The county later contracted with the IBC to build the larger Des Moines River Bridge, which was eventually incorporated into the Lincoln Highway as a major crossing of the Des Moines River. It carried increasingly heavy traffic until its eventual replacement by a new truss in 1928; the 1928 bridge has also been replaced.

In the late 19th and 20th centuries, before the Iowa State Highway Commission began using standard bridge plans, the individual counties were left to their own devices for highway and bridge construction. The counties contracted for large-scale bridges over the major rivers such as the Iowa, the Skunk and the Des Moines. Comprised of multiple pin-connected trusses, these structures have since been the focus of concerted replacement efforts, until all but a few have been replaced. The Boone Bridge is distinguished as one of the remaining large-scale wagon trusses in Iowa. A regionally important crossing of a major river, it is both historically and technologically significant--an important transportation-related resource.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

Visit Iowa's Historic Bridge Website

Divider

Photos and Videos: Wagon Wheel Bridge

Available Photo Galleries and Videos

Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.

 
View Photo Gallery
Structure Overview
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery
Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer

View Maps
and Links

Divider
 
Home Top

Divider

About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2017, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.