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Quarry Bridge

Quarry Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 10, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Three Bridges Road Over Iowa River
Quarry: Marshall County, Iowa: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1885 By Builder/Contractor: King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
148 Feet (45.1 Meters)
Structure Length
150 Feet (45.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
16 Feet (4.88 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is an old and rare example of a Whipple truss bridge. It is further significant as a bridge built by the prolific and noteworthy King Bridge Company. The actual on-site construction was undertaken by King and Twiss of Des Moines, Iowa. The bridge has been closed to traffic, but is in decent condition. It would be easy to restore for pedestrian use either here or relocated to a new location. It also would be feasible to rehabilitate for light vehicular use. Either way, this bridge deserves to be preserved. It retains good historic integrity although some alterations were noted included a repaired vertical and diagonal member. Some of the diagonal member intersection castings have broken off.

Apparently, there is a park called Three Bridges Park immediately northeast of this bridge. Restoring this bridge for pedestrian use as part of this park is an idea to consider.

Information and Findings From Iowa's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The bridge over the Iowa River near the town of Quarry in Le Grand Township was one of Marshall County's oldest spans when it collapsed during late spring flooding in 1885. In June the board of supervisors hired the Wright Brothers, local contractors, to pull the wrecked structure from the river, and subsequently solicited competitive proposals from bridge companies for a replacement span. On July 1st the board awarded a construction contract to low-bidder King and Twiss of Des Moines for a 150-foot Whipple truss identical to the Stanley Mill Bridge, built by the county the year before. Using a superstructure fabricated by the King Iron Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio, the builders completed the bridge by September at a total cost of $3,295. The Quarry Bridge has carried traffic since, with the reconstruction of its north abutment with concrete the only major alteration of note.
As Marshall County's oldest originally placed wagon bridge, the Quarry Bridge is historically significant as an early wagon crossing. The structure is further distinguished as a well-preserved example of the Whipple through truss. Basically a Pratt with diagonals that extend over two panels, the Whipple truss was seldom employed for wagon trusses in the state. Few were ever erected and fewer yet remain today. For its exceedingly rare use of wrought and cast iron components, its rare truss configuration, and its long-standing role in regional transportation, the Quarry Bridge is a significant early transportation-related resource [adapted from Fraser 1989].

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


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