HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

We Recommend:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Red Bridge

Iowa Bridge Number 61360

Red Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 16, 2021

View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Fuel Hollow Road Over Yellow River
Rural: Allamakee County, Iowa: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1920 By Builder/Contractor: Ainsworth L. Powell of Postville, Iowa and Worden-Allen Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
98.0 Feet (29.9 Meters)
Structure Length
128.0 Feet (39 Meters)
Roadway Width
13.8 Feet (4.21 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

Abandoned and deteriorating, this is an exceedingly rare example of a combination truss, using both timber and metal in its construction. Built in 1920, it is a bit of an anomaly, as most combination bridges were built in the 19th century as builders and engineers experimented with and transitioned to using metal in bridge construction instead of timber. Reglardless of its late construction date, its traditional pin-connected construction still accurately documents what a timber/metal combination truss looks like.

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Drawings, PDF - HAER Data Pages, PDF

Information and Findings From Iowa's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

Now abandoned with its stringers and deck removed, the Red Bridge spans the Yellow River northeast of Postville, in Franklin Township. The structure dates to 1920. That year the Allamakee County Engineer designed this 98-foot timber truss--the first bridge at this crossing--estimated its cost at $2,500, and let a series of private contracts for its fabrication and erection. The Worden-Allen Company of Milwaukee provided the structural steel, City Lumber provided the timbers, a man named Ryerson provided the hardware, and local contractor A.L. Powell built the truss. Total cost of the bridge was $2,304.74. Called the Red Bridge, the Yellow River Bridge or Oelberg Bridge locally, this timber truss featured a Pratt configuration, with timber compression members and forged iron tension members. The upper-chord timbers are bolted to the timber verticals using iron plates; the iron eye-rod lower chords are pinned to the verticals. From these pins the floor beams are hung using U-bolts. The Red Bridge carried traffic until its later closure (at an unknown date). The timber deck and stringers were subsequently removed, and the bridge now stands abandoned in deteriorating condition.

In the 1850s and 1860s, Iowa's counties were in their formative stages, and for the most part they could ill-afford the expense of substantial iron or masonry bridges for their developing road systems. Instead they opted for wood construction--either in timber pile or timber truss configurations--willingly sacrificing longevity for economy. Without the protective sheathing of covered bridges, timber spans rarely lasted more than twenty years in service, and the worst of the early wood bridges required maintenance after virtually every flood. Although some counties continued to work with wood bridge construction after the turn of the century, most eschewed timber stringer or truss spans. As a result, only a handful of timber covered bridges remains in place today, and all of the timber pile bridges built during the 19th century are gone. The Red Bridge in Allamakee County is distinguished as the last uncovered timber truss remaining in the state. It is unclear whether the existing timbers on the Red Bridge are original or whether some or all have been replaced, but they do appear original. The Red Bridge is today an important resource from what was once a large group of early timber roadway bridges in the state [adapted from Fraser and McWilliams 1992].

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Red Bridge


View Photo Gallery

Bridge Photo-Documentation

Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


View Photo Gallery

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


Maps and Links: Red Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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.

Additional Maps:

Google Maps

Google Streetview (If Available)

Bing Maps


GeoHack (Additional Links and Coordinates)

Apple Maps (Via DuckDuckGo Search)

Apple Maps (Apple devices only)


HERE We Go Maps

ACME Mapper

Waze Map

Android: Open Location In Your Map or GPS App

Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)

Wikimedia Commons (Find Nearby Photos)

Directions Via Sygic For Android

Directions Via Sygic For iOS and Android Dolphin Browser

USGS National Map (United States Only)

Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)

Historic Aerials (United States Only)

CalTopo Maps (United States Only)

Home Top


About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2023, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.

Admin Login