Nishnabotna River Bridge
Historical American Engineering Record Report - 1995
Taken from the report written by Geoffrey H. Goldberg, Engineer
The availability of steel for domestic purposes like bridge building was severely limited during World War II. Most of the counties of Iowa, including Crawford County, turned to timber to fulfill their short-span bridge construction needs. In May of 1945, however, heavy flooding washed out 27 bridges and culverts throughout the county. It was decided to build replacement spans using steel. The Des Moines Steel Company was hired to design and fabricate the bridges. Forced to economize with material they turned to a bridge form that was popular in the 1860s and 1870s: the bowstring arch-truss. Although lacking the lateral stability of later bridge forms, the bowstring offered outstanding structural efficiency. During the period of the 1860s and 1870s thousands of bowstring arch-trusses were built throughout the nation. In a time of national crisis this once popular bridge form again supplied the solution. The Nishnabotna bridge is an excellent example of this series of bridges built during the war.
- Bowstring pony truss bridge over Nishnabotna Creek on 300th Street near Manilla
- Manilla, Crawford County, Iowa
- Open to traffic
- Built 1945
- - Des Moines Steel Co. of Des Moines, Iowa
- H. Gene McKeown of Council Bluffs
- Bowstring pony truss
Length of largest span: 77.0 ft.
Total length: 121.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +41.86501, -95.28614 (decimal degrees)
41°51'54" N, 95°17'10" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 15/310261/4637315 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Inventory numbers
- IA 126550 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 37265 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- August 8, 2016: New photos from Kevin Skow
- May 11, 2015: Updated by Nathan Holth: Merged Latest NBI Data... and Updated Bridge... NOT LOST.
- May 15, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "H. Gene McKeown"
- September 26, 2011: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been replaced.
- August 22, 2008: Essay added by J.R. Manning