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Upper Paris Bridge

Iowa Bridge Number 223020

Upper Paris Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 16, 2021

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Sutton Road Over Wapsipinicon River
Location
Paris: Linn County, Iowa: United States
Structure Type
Metal 11 Panel Pin-Connected Whipple (Double-Intersection Pratt) Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Wood Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1879 By Builder/Contractor: Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio
Rehabilitation Date
1987
Main Span Length
158.0 Feet (48.2 Meters)
Structure Length
208.0 Feet (63.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
14.8 Feet (4.51 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
223020

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is a spectacular and early example of a Wrought Iron Bridge Company Whipple truss bridge, a design they preferred for long spans. The bridge (as of 2021) remained open to vehicular traffic yet it also stands out for its lack of alteration. It even includes the original fishbelly floorbeams with cast iron star decorations on the ends. It is an outstanding example of its kind.

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

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

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form For This Bridge

Information and Findings From Iowa's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

This unusual Whipple truss spans the Wapsipinicon River in northern Linn County. It was built in 1879 by the Ohio-based Canton Wrought Iron Bridge Company for $3,400. The timber and stone substructure was constructed by Cloyston and Wood for $1564.72. The bridge is a fairly rare example of a double-intersection Pratt truss, also known as a "Whipple" truss, which was first developed by Squire Whipple, an early American engineer, in 1847. Additional construction documentation for this long-span truss do not exist in county records. Barring a minor replacement, the aesthetically striking Upper Paris Bridge carries intermittent vehicular traffic in its rural setting. The Upper Paris Bridge is distinguished as a well-preserved, large-scale example of a Whipple truss. Basically a Pratt with diagonals that extent over two panels, the Whipple truss was seldom employed for wagon trusses in the state. Few were ever erected and fewer yet remain today. This structure is one of only eight pin-connected Whipple through trusses remaining in Iowa and is the longest of eight. For its exceeding rare use of wrought iron components, its rare truss configuration, and its overall length, the Upper Paris Bridge is a structurally significant wagon crossing in Iowa [adapted from Roise, Hess, and Crow-Dolby 1992].

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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Maps and Links: Upper Paris 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.

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