No votes cast

Robin Avenue Bridge


Iowa Department of Transportation


BH Photo #273703


The Robin Avenue Bridge is one of a series of riveted Warren pony trusses built in Carroll county in 1913; it is the prototypical example of what would become an Iowa State Highway Commission standard design. The bridge carries a secondary county road over an unnamed field stream some four miles east of Carroll. The structure consists of a 45-foot, rigid-connected Warren pony truss, supported by a timber substructure. According to Carroll County records, the bridge traces its history to late 1912, when the county board of supervisors awarded a contract to build all of the county's steel and wood bridges for 1913 to the Standard Bridge Company of Omaha. The following spring the Iowa State Highway Commission prepared designs for nine separate pony trusses, ranging in span length from 35 to 75 feet. In July 1913 the county authorized construction of fifteen steel bridges built from these designs. The ISHC's First Annual Report announced that the bridges were to be used "largely as standards for other counties desiring that type of bridge." The report concluded that the structures, "while not possessing the neat appearance or the rigidity of the slab floor type of bridge, seemed to be very much in demand by the counties having a considerable number of drainage ditches to span, which deserved cheaper construction." The list included this 45-foot pony truss between sections 9 and 10 of Grant Township, with an estimated cost of $1,208. Standard Bridge subsequently erected the bridges for the aggregate sum of $29,174. Since its completion in 1913, this bridge has carried vehicular traffic with only minor, maintenance-related repairs. The Iowa State Legislature passed the Brockway Act on April 9, 1913, largely in response to poor road and bridge contracting practices among the counties. As one of the act's key provisions, the newly reorganized state highway commission was directed to design (or approve designs for) all vehicular bridges costing more than $2,000. ISHC, under the direction of Designing Engineer C.B. McCullough, prepared so-called "special designs" for the major crossings. For the myriad small ditch and stream crossings across the state, ISHC developed standardized plans. These standards initially included concrete slabs and culverts and steel through and pony trusses. The plans submitted to Carroll County in the spring of 1913 represented the prototypes for ISHC's pony trusses: experimental designs that soon became the basis for the ISHC X-Series standards. The unimposing Carroll County span is thus technologically significant, because it represents one of the state's prototypical X-Series standards [adapted from Fraser 1992].


Lost pony truss bridge over Storm Creek on Robin Avenue
Carroll County, Iowa
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1913; rehabilitated 1962; replaced around 2013
- Iowa State Highway Commission of Ames, Iowa
- Standard Bridge Co. of Omaha, Nebraska
Warren pony truss
Length of largest span: 44.9 ft.
Total length: 45.9 ft.
Deck width: 15.7 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1998
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.09719, -94.76447   (decimal degrees)
42°05'50" N, 94°45'52" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/354091/4662073 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Carroll East
Land survey
T. 84 N., R. 34 W., Sec. 12
Average daily traffic (as of 2008)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 98000748 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
IA 95260 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 13013 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2012)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 36.4 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • August 16, 2015: Updated by Kevin Skow: Update based on satellite imagery. Bridge has been replaced with a culvert.
  • February 3, 2014: New photo from Luke Harden
  • April 26, 2010: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added creek name