The Farmington Bridge is an excellent example of a standard plan deck plate girder with haunched girders that give the bridge a highly attractive arched appearance. Iowa appears to have built a number of girder bridges following this plan, but the Farmington Bridge appears to be among the largest remaining examples. The bridge also has excellent historic integrity. Iowa's deck plate girder bridge design as seen here positions the girders in an uncommon configuration where the girders are placed outside the edge of the deck, allowing for them to rise up above the deck slightly. This is done to allow them to double as the base of a guardrail system. The tops of the girders have pole rails mounted on them, completing the guardrail function.
There is a similarly designed and configured structure of this type at the other corner of the county, crossing Des Moines River between the communities of Leando and Douds. However that bridge was built in 1954, while the Farmington Bridge was built in 1948 making it the older of the two At least some of the largest and most impressive examples of this bridge type should be selected for preservation. The graceful arch-like shapes and the riveted girders make these bridges more attractive than a modern bridge and represent a bridge type and construction that is no longer employed today.
The Farmington Road Bridge was demolished and replaced in 2013. This is most unfortunate since the bridge is an attractive structure that documents mid-20th Century bridge construction in Iowa quite well.
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