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Lock and Dam Number 15

Access Bridge

Lock and Dam Number 15

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 11, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Dam Access Road Over Mississippi River
Davenport and Rock Island: Scott County, Iowa and Rock Island County, Illinois: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1934 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
115.5 Feet (35.2 Meters)
Structure Length
1270 Feet (387.1 Meters)
Roadway Width
17 Feet (5.18 Meters)
11 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

What is called Lock and Dam Number 15 includes a lock system, plus a dam system that includes an access bridge that cranes and other maintenance vehicles can use. The dam is an impressive structure that is noteworthy because it is an unusual type of dam called an "Active Roller Dam." A roller dam means that it has rollers to disperse the energy of water falling over the dam and thus reduce erosion risk. The "active" roller dams can move the giant steel rollers as needed. They are sometimes called a roller gate. Lock and Dam Number 15 is reportedly the largest active roller dam in the world.

The bridge structure is also extremely noteworthy since it follows the rare K-truss configuration. The K-truss was invented to make the Quebec Bridge's construction easier. Afterwards, the configuration was used on rare occasions on other bridge types. Surviving examples of k-truss bridges are historically significant due to their rarity. This example is significant on its own as a K-truss bridge and also as part of a the significant dam structure.


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