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Martha Creek Private Bridge

Martha Creek Private Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: June 30, 2009 and August 9, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Private Driveway Over Martha Creek
Location
Rural: Winneshiek County, Iowa: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: R.D. Wheaton Bridge Company of Chicago, Illinois

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This bridge is an example of one of the rarest truss bridge types in the country, the Kingpost truss bridge, despite the fact that Winneshiek County happens to have three known examples, with one in private ownership. The Kingpost truss bridge is the simplest possible truss form, always consisting of only two panels, two endposts, no top chord, and a single vertical member, resulting in a triangular-shaped truss.

The Kingpost is a bridge type that was once a common bridge type used for short crossings but is today extremely rare due to attrition. Extremely few examples of this bridge type remain because small bridges are less expensive to replace and thus many have been lost, and also because the use of kingposts died out quickly as the truss bridge era progressed in the late 19th and early 20th century because the iron/steel mills were soon able to easily and inexpensively roll beams large enough to easily span the 30-40 foot distances as a stringer/multi-beam bridge. Due to their design, Kingpost truss bridges were only suitable for these small spans.

Noteworthy for its excellent historic integrity due to a lack of alteration, the Martha Creek Private Bridge appears to have been relocated from an unknown location to serve as a crossing for a private driveway. The builder of the Martha Creek Private Bridge is not known for certain, but it is assumed to be built by the R.D. Wheaton Bridge Company of Chicago, Illinois, because the Happy Hollow Road Bridge, which has the same design, particularly in terms of the connection layout, was also assumed by the Historic Bridge Inventory to be built by this company. Like the other two Kingpost truss bridges in the county, this bridge features a riveted connection at the top of the vertical member, with pinned connections at the bottom chord, making the bridge further noteworthy as a truss bridge displaying multiple types of connections. The truss itself remains in excellent condition. Original railings are missing from the bridge, and in fact there are currently no railings of any kind on the bridge.

All surviving Kingpost truss bridges in the country should be preserved without question, because not only are they rare, their small size means that restoration is inexpensive, simple, and if needed the bridge can be relocated with very little effort. The reuse of this Kingpost is a good example. Although now privately owned, it remains directly adjacent to a public roadway, and the general public can easily view this bridge from this public roadway.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Martha Creek Private Bridge

 
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Martha Creek Private Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

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