"This bridge is one of the few remaining large-scale wagon trusses in Iowa. A locally important crossing of a major river, it is one of the few multiple span pin-connected Pratt trusses remaining in the state. One of its four spans is a long-span Pennsylvania through truss, an important sub-type of the Pratt truss.
"The Wagon Bridge is an approximately 703' four-span steel bridge composed, begining at the east end, of a timber stringer approach span of about 160', one approximately 124' pin-connected Pennsylvania through truss, one approximately 200' pin-connected Pratt through truss, and one approximately 96' pin-connected Pratt through truss. The roadway width is 16'-0" and has a timber deck. The substructure consists of concrete-filled steel cylindrical piers with plate or bar diaphragms, and a concrete abutment at the west end. This abutment was originally constructed of stone, and may have been originally covered with concrete.
"The main span of this bridge is one of the oldest and best preserved large wagon trusses in Iowa. The bridge continues to serve as a locally important stream crossing, and also serves as an excellent example of the work of a very prolific and important Iowa bridge company, about which relatively little is known."
This document was prepared as part of the Iowa Historic Bridges Recording Project performed durng the Summer of 1995 by the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER). The project was sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT). Preliminary research on this bridge was performed by Clayton B. Fraser of Fraserdesign, Loveland, CO. --Robert W. Jackson, August 1995
--Robert W. Jackson, August 1995
The end of the Wagon Wheel Bridge came today. https://www.facebook.com/139120672925720/videos/654240111413...
Looks nice, Kevin!.
I need to find something to do with my sliver of decking from the Dinkey Bridge.
A memorable night watching fireflies dance around the remaining east spans of the Wagon Wheel Bridge last month.
Jason - Sent you an email a few days ago about your request.
You think you can save me a piece to be shipped back to Minnesota, Kevin? I have a lot of fond memories of the bridge and I would like to keep at least a small relict of the bridge as a memory of how we tried and save it. Please send me an e-mail about this. Thanks. JS
The western two spans have been completely removed and the area cleaned of all debris. A 4-5 foot dirt berm has been placed between the road and where the bridge used to stand. The concrete base of the western approach is the only portion of the bridge that was left. While the area under the bridge has been filled and cleaned-up, I traced the path that the dismantled bridge was hauled up the embankment to the road and found a few token fragments of the truss. This riveted piece from one of the verticals (I think from the section that collapsed judging by the water damage to the metal) was the best that I could find.
This is a shame, but it is the destination for every abandoned bridge at some point. I know that Lally Columns are a part of our engineering history, but they are vulnerable to disasters.
Summary of the events involving the bridge removal. Any ways of saving and relocating the Pennsylvania span, now's the time....
I find it really sad that it had to come to this. Here's another bridge that seemed to be unwanted by the county and the vandals who torched the structure last fall sealed the bridge's fate. An act of cowardess from those who think that rules don't apply to them, when in all reality, they do. RIP Wagon Wheel, I just wished we would've done something much earlier to save you girl. :~(
Partial demolition (collapsed portion) with total demolition (undamaged spans) to follow. http://amestrib.com/news/west-half-wagon-wheel-bridge-has-be...
Sad is truly an understatement. I'll miss this bridge. Aerial photos are posted at: https://www.facebook.com/WagonWheelBridge/
The span has collapsed: http://newsrepublican.com/news/local/wagon-wheel-bridge-coll...
Removal plans are in the works:
A comparison of 1930s aerial imagery and 2015 satellite imagery from the ISU GIS page shows just how much the river has shifted over the course of the bridge's life. When first constructed, the main channel was under the east Pennsylvania truss and the west river bank was located at the center of the bridge, with two trusses over dry land on the west side of the river. Now, the main channel is near the center pier that shifted recently. The west bank of the river was rocked some time ago, so the channel hasn't changed much since the 70s or 80s. Given the amount of scouring that has taken place around that pier and how it was not intended to be in the middle of the river, it is probably a miracle that the bridge has lasted so long.
Latest news on the bridge: http://newsrepublican.com/news/local/no-timetable-yet-wagon-...
Art... yeah as seen in the photos the trusses themselves are not beyond saving. The iron was in great shape prior to the incident. The problem (or cost) would definitely be finding a way to non-destructively recover the trusses without putting workers in danger...
To me, the trusses look like they could be easily repaired (the droop may be merely elastic distortion) if someone clever was involved. However, I wasn't sure if the caisson had shifted. The caisson shift adds significantly to the complexity to the repair required. If it was just the truss, it might have been cheaper to reset the truss than remove it.
As you point out, this is a money issue - no money for simple fixes/maintenance before; no way are they going to save it now.
Also, depending on the depth of the water, one could put barges under the spans and float them off rather than 'drop and drag.' Unfortunately, without preservation interest, it isn't going to happen.
Art.. Even without further floods, pure physics (caisson half tipped over with end post completely dislodged off caisson) might cause the collapse of one or more spans. It could collapse at any time. This limits options and increases risk. Even if it didn't collapse I doubt the county has the needed money. This is a classic case where there was a perfect opportunity to preserve the bridge only a couple years ago before this occurred, but either nobody had the money or nobody at the time cared. Sadly, I expect this bridge will be dropped into the river and dragged out with excavator and cut up and scrapped like so many rural truss bridges.
Cool aerial view:
Silly question: Is this just an issue of money (no one besides those on this board would consider spending money on an old abandoned bridge) or is the damage much more severe that it looks?
Assuming it doesn't collapse during the next ice floe, would it be possible to bring in a barge and jack the span back into place or has the pier shifted?
So sad. I have so many memories of canoeing, tubing, fishing the west bank and even a bonfire on the sand bar that was on the east bank under this bridge.
Had a friend from Kiel, Germany with an SLR who liked to take moonlight photos of trains crossing the old Kate Shelley High bridge. We spent a lot of time around the two bridges.
Here's a shot through the car window of the bridge on February 22nd, 2009, the last time we visited. The new Boone viaduct was under construction.
Also a closeup of that killer Des Moines River ice at the boat ramp north of Boone water works dam.
Much happier times.
I hope that will buff out. Otherwise,this is going to be another big loss.
You have heard of "dead man walking" Well this is "collapsed bridge standing" the entire end post is off the caisson!
A video of today's flight around the stricken bridge can be found at: https://youtu.be/inypud_wh6g
The county seems very adamant on keeping people away from the dying bridge. Both approaches are barricaded about a half mile from the bridge, making it difficult getting to the span. Here is an aerial comparison of the western pier now and back in August, showing how much it shifted.
Another ice jam broke in Fort Dodge. It's only a matter of time.
Based on the photos it is clear the bridge is now in extreme risk for collapse... at the same time it is sad and frustrating to see this happen because its basically a way to avoid Section 106 and other preservation efforts, demolition by neglect essentially. This was an outstanding, rare multi-span bridge that could have and should have been preserved. It deserved so much more than to be left until scour and/or floods tore apart the caissons.
It looks like this is a doomed bridge as of today. Here is a link to the Boone New Republican. A county engineer has stated it will be brought down in the next 12 months due to safety concerns.
Ice Damage to the Wagon Wheel bridge this morning. As of early this afternoon, it was still standing.
An ice jam gave out north of the bridge this morning, and the surge of ice and water caused major damage to one of the western piers. The pier is leaning 8 ft downstream and the trusses are severely warped. The bridge could collapse at any time. Will try to post photos later on.
Update on the bridge: http://thebridgehunter.areavoices.com/2015/08/06/wagon-wheel...
Preservation efforts are being undertaken, but also considerations of removing the bridge in its entirety by the county. It appears the third battle in five years is brewing....
The bridge caught fire on the east side and has been fenced off to all traffic. Not a total loss but the damage is substantial. More here: http://whotv.com/2015/08/03/wagon-wheel-bridge-in-boone-dama...
I travel from MN to Iowa on business many times a year and have often wondered where the old bridge was that crossed the river west of Boone, as I had never crossed the river there except on the Hwy 30 bypass...I will call it a bypass since it obviously bypasses downtown Boone. On January 27th 2015, a very nice day for January, I was in the area and decided to search for the old bridge or crossing. I found it and I enjoyed the peace and beauty of this rustic old bridge and wild river bottom. The bridge is obviously no longer suited for vehicles, but as a scenic pedestrian crossing it should stand up for years to come - no changes needed.
Geez! What happened to the river??
When I was here in July 2012, the deck had been repaired
Good news in the world of historic bridges: The referendum which would grant a $6 million bond to tear down and replace the Wagon Wheel Bridge was voted down considerably. Now it's just a matter of finding a more constructive way to reuse the bridge. Please have a look at the article I wrote:
News from the Bridgehunter's Chronicles:
It is on the Nov. 2, 2010 election ballot in Boone County to remove this historic bridge and replace it 60 ft. away by constructing a new and different bridge, both jobs paid for by county homeowner taxes, due to concern by board of supervisors of Boone County that it may fall into the Des Moines River or pose a hazard. The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places. I and others would like to see the wagon bridge become a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, and continue to be used by fishermen, campers and photographers, but there are no county funds for this. Can anyone help?
The local name for this bridge is "The Wagon Wheel Bridge". I have never heard it called anything else. It is now closed but there are still rumblings about turning it into a pedestrian bridge. I hope it happens--neat old bridge!
Wagon Wheel was open until just a couple of years ago and traveling in a vehicle across it made you feel as if you were a stunt man trusting your life to a noisy, clattering old bridge, but you still could not help making the journey across just for the experience.
Boone County, Iowa
I went to this bridge today, hoping to get a look at the new, still unfinished Kate Shelley Bridge. Apparently they fixed whatever flood damage there was because a couple of people were using it to get to the other side - one of them looked like a UP official. I walked out on it and everthing appeared normal.
Does anyone know how the property owners on the west side of the river get to their homes? The last time I was there, Juneberry Road was closed beneath the Kate Shelly Bridge. Without this bridge and without Juneberry Road access, those properties are inaccessible.
That's amazing. That bridge probably stood for a hundred years and only just now was damaged by this "hundred year flood". Pretty amazing, the power of nature.
Currently, this bridge is closed due to flood damage. It can be walked across, but isn't suitable for vehicle travel. The flood waters went over the east approach, buckling the decking, eroding the approach, possibly moving the first approach span, and damaging the railing. Hopefully this will be repaired, but I suspect that it will never be open for vehicle traffic again since it's my understanding that the current Kate Shelley High Bridge will be converted to auto traffic once the new rail bridge is constructed.
The east end of the bridge (5th photo in the sequence) makes a lot of noise. The road is closed, due to construction traffic where work is being done on the Kate Shelly bridge. For a Sunday afternoon, on a closed road, there was an awful lot of traffic on this bridge!
The last photo in this sequence is of the High Level Kate Shelly Bridge. That bridge carries the double mainline of the Union Pacific across the Des Moines River and is named for a young woman who, in 1881, risked her life to save a Chicago & North Western Railway passenger express train. The perspective of the photo belies the 184' height of the Kate Shelly Bridge, which was built in 1901 and was the first bridge named for a woman. http://www.americanfolklore.net/folktales/ia.html
The bridge in front of the Kate Shelly bridge is a temporary bridge to allow construction equipment to cross the river.
Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.
This bridge, on 200th Avenue, is just upriver from the Kate Shelly High Level Bridge. It is a wood decked truss and a cheap thrill to drive across. You can hear the bridge creak when you walk on it, let alone drive on it.
Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.