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This stunning two span through truss bridge is today preserved for pedestrian use and is the iconic centerpiece of a park. The bridge has outstanding historic integrity.
Information and Findings From Iowa's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The Chain Lakes Bridge is a substantial two-span
structure over the Cedar River northwest of Cedar Rapids, just south of
the small community of Palo. The bridge now serves pedestrians visiting
a nature area maintained by the Linn County Conservation Board. A picnic
area and boat landing are near the bridge's south approach; the northern
bank is heavily wooded. County board minutes are somewhat unclear about
the history of this bridge, but planning for it apparently began in the
early 1880s. In June 1880 the Board of Supervisors appropriated $20,000
for this two-span, pinned Pratt truss on massive stone abutments and
piers. Information regarding bridge construction is not included in
subsequent board minutes, although a now-removed bridge plate recorded
the contractor as the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, and
the date of erection as 1884. The Wrought Iron Bridge Company was
organized by David Hammond in 1864, and incorporated in 1871. It was
active in Linn County from at least 1879, receiving contracts for a
number of bridges. In 1900, the company was absorbed by the American
Bridge Company. The wrought-iron Chain Lakes Bridge continues to serve
pedestrians in its heavily wooded location.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
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HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.
2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.
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