Rating:
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Beaver Creek Bridge

Photo 

Iowa Department of Transportation

Enlarge

BH Photo #270809

Map 

Description 

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].

Facts 

Overview
Bowstring pony truss bridge over Beaver Creek on 180th Street
Location
Crawford County, Iowa
Status
Intact but closed to all traffic
History
Built 1945
Builders
- Des Moines Steel Co. of Des Moines, Iowa
- H. Gene McKeown of Council Bluffs
Design
Bowstring pony truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 76.1 ft.
Total length: 135.2 ft.
Deck width: 17.7 ft.
Recognition
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:
Ricketts
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)
25

Update Log 

  • August 3, 2016: Updated by Kevin Skow: Update based on satellite imagery. Bridge is closed.
  • November 22, 2013: New photo from Luke Harden

Sources 

Comments 

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted November 20, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Its going to be replaced but sounds like the trusses go in storage for reuse: http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/iowa/historic-beaver-cre...

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted May 10, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Oh, but it can be fixed! And should be fixed!

As an example of Iowa's "Second generation" of Bowstring truss bridges, this is a bridge that should be preserved!

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted May 9, 2017, by Christy Rickers (gutevuss [at] wildblue [dot] net)

The Co. Engineer's name is Assman - pronounced oz-man. I am a member of the local historic preservation group and these bridges are very dear to me. I have written letters to local papers asking the Board of Supervisors to carefully think about what to do with this bridge. The bridge was evaluated as unstable and there is no way to fix it. Believe me - I begged to have it fixed! The spans are warped and there is no way to fix this old metal. Have been waiting for months but have not heard of any plans for its replacement or removal. It cannot be just scrapped, but it could possibly be moved. I kind of hope it is just left alone at this point.

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted August 12, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Should have figured it was a newspaper typo and therefore too good to be true...

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted August 12, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Mr. Passman, the County Engineer for Crawford County is in the same boat as most county engineers in Iowa. The bridge doesn't meet the standards of the big trucks and combines and they won't put money into preservation for these types of bridges. They just won't.

There are ways to save these trusses.

I was the one that Jason is referring too when he posts on the Workin' Bridges page. There are bridges that can be saved and some that can't but I know one way that won't work is to call these folks names and I also know that no one posts on his posts on our page. If we can help save it we will but we have a lot of bridges that do come in on all stats for our analysis

However there is one county engineer in Iowa who has worked for years to find ways to save these bridges. This man will be the new president for the national engineers association and we are starting to get some leads from him from county engineers looking for information on real numbers for preservation that take many factors into account including feasibility, funding, and future prospects.

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted August 11, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Sorry Mr. ASSman... We don't agree with you closed-minded assessment!

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted August 11, 2016, by Jason Smith (flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com)

Nathan,

If you wish to state your case with Crawford County, be my guest. I personally think the bridge can be repaired as one panel needs fixing and that's it. It just annoys me when someone responds with blowing the bridge up when I posted the article with a question for a forum on fb recently, which I think is BS. Good luck if you wish to confront the engineer about this. ;-)

JS

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted August 11, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Jason, read the article closer. The bridge's future is hardly in doubt, unless the doubt is which scrapyard the bridge is destined for. I find the county's statement that the bridge "cannot be repaired" to be very annoying becuase that is an untrue statement. Damaged trusses can be repaired. Maybe its not "feasible and prudent" to meet a project need, but to just say flat out its not possible to repair for light vehicular traffic is untrue. Bridges collapsed into a river can still be repaired. Maybe not cheaply, but it is possible. This bridge CAN be repaired. http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/local/crawford-county-mu...

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted August 8, 2016, by Jason Smith (flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com)

According to newspaper sources, a truck damaged the HB while crossing it and is now closed to traffic. More here:

http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/local/crawford-county-mu...

County officials are mulling options as to what to do with the structure. According to the county engineer, the bridge is non-repairable.

http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Iowa-officials-mull-optio...

Needless to say, the bridge's future is in doubt.....

JS