Beaver Creek Bridge
© Iowa Department of Transportation
BH Photo #270809
During War II the War Department developed a "Priorities Critical List" of materials deemed essential to the war effort. As a component of almost every major piece of war materiel, steel was, of course, included on the list, making the construction of steel bridges problematic for Iowa's counties. In response, most of the counties reverted to timber construction for their small-scale bridges, and timber pile bridges outnumbered all other types by a substantial margin in the 1940s. Crawford County, too, relied on timber construction, until heavy flooding in May 1945 washed out 27 bridges and culverts in the county.
The county board of supervisors resolved to build new bridges using emergency funds, purchasing several steel superstructures from the Des Moines Steel Company as replacement spans. These structures featured a bowstring arch-truss configuration, with the upper chord in compression and the lower chord in tension to resist the springing action of the curved upper chord (although the all-riveted construction made this action structurally indeterminate). The trusses employed only small-profile steel angles for the web members. They employed angled gusset plates to which the vertical and diagonal members were riveted to the chords. Each web was fabricated in the shop in two halves and field-bolted at the site by a county work force. The trusses were carried by relatively simple bearing shoes, and angle outriders provided lateral support for the truss webs. The Beaver Creek Bridge northwest of Schleswig was one of several such hybrid trusses build by Crawford County during the war years. Comprised of the riveted truss, supported by a timber substructure, the Beaver Creek Bridge remains in unaltered condition today. It, like the five other, almost identical spans that remain in Crawford County, is a noteworthy example of wartime bridge construction in Iowa [adapted from Fraser 1993].
- Bowstring pony truss bridge over Beaver Creek on 180th Street
- Crawford County, Iowa
- Intact but closed to all traffic
- Built 1945
- - Des Moines Steel Co. of Des Moines, Iowa
- H. Gene McKeown of Council Bluffs
- Bowstring pony truss
Length of largest span: 76.1 ft.
Total length: 135.2 ft.
Deck width: 17.7 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1998
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +42.19500, -95.51735 (decimal degrees)
42°11'42" N, 95°31'02" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 15/292150/4674494 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Land survey
- T. 85 N., R. 40 W., Sec. 9
- Inventory numbers
- NRHP 98000799 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
IA 130550 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 13224 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- Inspection (as of 05/2014)
- Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 36.2 (out of 100)
- Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
- August 3, 2016: Updated by Kevin Skow: Update based on satellite imagery. Bridge is closed.
- November 22, 2013: New photo from Luke Harden