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South Road Bridge

Iowa Bridge Number 63170

South Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: June 30, 2009

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
South Road Drive Over Clear Creek
Rural: Allamakee County, Iowa: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1915 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
70 Feet (21.3 Meters)
Structure Length
72 Feet (22 Meters)
Roadway Width
18 Feet (5.49 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 a traditionally composed riveted truss bridge in Iowa. It conforms to a standard plan and a number of bridges similar in design to this one remain in Iowa, although the exact size and configuration varies from bridge to bridge making each bridge unique in some way. The South Road Bridge is also a relatively early example, a noteworthy fact. The South Road Bridge remains in decent condition although that the time of inspection there was significant dirt and dried mud on the lower chord, and as such the bridge should be washed to decrease the potential for deterioration caused by moisture entrapment.

At the very least, the best representative examples of standard plan truss bridges such as this one should be highlighted for preservation to retain a record of this period in history. Longer spans, multi-span examples, and unaltered examples should receive preservation priority.

In reality however, the majority of these bridges are fully capable of being rehabilitated for continued rural vehicular use and there is no reason to even consider the demolition of these bridges whether highly noteworthy or not. Many of Iowa's truss bridges are on rural dirt roads that have not been exposed to the extremely corrosive de-icing salt that bridges in other states have suffered from. As a result, they retain a comparatively high degree of structural integrity due to a striking lack of pack rust and section loss. In addition, these bridges were built with a higher quality of materials and construction than any modern bridge (contrary to what AASHTO would have you believe). These truss bridges are much more beautiful than any modern bridge. They contribute to the Iowa landscape in a positive manner and are an asset to the state.


Photo Galleries and Videos: South Road Bridge

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Maps and Links: South Road Bridge

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