3 votes

Liberty Trail Bridge



Photo taken by Dave King


BH Photo #258103


Originally located northwest of Hazleton, this short-span pony truss carried a gravel-surfaced county road over Otter Creek, but was moved to a the Liberty Trail for pedestrian use. The structure is a wrought iron, rigid-connected Pratt truss, supported by iron tubular piers. The archaic web configuration and composition of the truss members indicates a very early construction date for this bridge, although its history in the county records remains somewhat clouded. The original construction of the bridge is undocumented, but the truss is similar in detail to others fabricated by the Wrought-Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, in the late 1860s and early 1870s. In April 1873 the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors received a petition from William Bruce and others for a bridge near the center of Section 4 of Hazleton Township, the location of this truss. The following January the board contracted with the King Iron Bridge Company to build a new iron structure to replace the existing Cutshall Bridge over the Wapsipinicon River in Perry Township. As part of the contract, King was to move the earlier spans to new crossings--one over Count's Creek in Perry Township and the other over Otter Creek northwest of Hazleton. This truss is apparently that second span, moved by King in 1874 to this location and re-erected on iron cylinder piers. (This supposition is made somewhat more tenuous by a citizens' petition made for a bridge at this location in 1896, which may have been for a replacement span.) Although its history is unclear, this diminutive pony truss is clearly among Iowa's earliest wagon bridges. As such it is an important early remnant of transportation in the state as the counties were beginning to develop their road and bridge systems [adapted from Hybben, Roise, and Fraser 1992].


Pony truss bridge over unknown stream on Liberty Trail
Independence, Buchanan County, Iowa
Open to pedestrians
Built 1870; relocated here in 2000
Pinned Pratt Queenpost pony truss made of wrought iron
Also called
Otter Creek Bridge (Former name prior to relocation)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.46334, -91.90519   (decimal degrees)
42°27'48" N, 91°54'19" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/590009/4701802 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 52432 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


19th Century (9,803)
Bolted (28)
Buchanan County, Iowa (103)
Built 1870 (205)
Built during 1870s (1,528)
Independence, Iowa (19)
Iowa (6,910)
Open to pedestrians (4,716)
Owned by county (22,057)
Pony truss (17,634)
Queenpost truss (419)
Relocated (1,112)
Road-to-trail (107)
Truss (38,723)
Wooden deck (6,278)
Wrought Iron (499)

Update Log 

  • July 2, 2013: New photos from Dave King
  • June 23, 2013: Photo imported by Luke Harden
  • May 11, 2012: Added by Luke Harden


  • Luke
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com


Liberty Trail Bridge
Posted September 16, 2012, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

The kingpost bridge is already added: http://bridgehunter.com/ia/buchanan/280th-street/

Liberty Trail Bridge
Posted September 16, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is an example of a rare wagon truss. Correct me if I am wrong, but thus truss had channel for bottom chord instead of eyebars, outrigger verticals. I like the bench rail. Saved by Buchanon County for the city. There is a King Post on the trail that I will add.