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Asteria Blvd Soap Creek Bridge

Map 

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Soap Creek on Asteria Blvd
Location
Davis County, Iowa
Status
Road has been closed (is now private property)
History
Built 1909
Design
Through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 109.9 ft.
Total length: 136.2 ft.
Deck width: 13.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.4 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.85654, -92.61934   (decimal degrees)
40°51'24" N, 92°37'10" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/532083/4522902 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Paris
Land survey
T. 70 N., R. 15 W., Sec. 17
Inventory numbers
IA 135840 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 13303 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

Built 1909 (720)
Built during 1900s (6,789)
Closed (2,570)
Davis County, Iowa (76)
Iowa (6,191)
Owned privately (1,499)
Span length 100-125 feet (4,228)
Structurally deficient (15,859)
Through truss (14,026)
Total length 125-175 feet (5,673)
Truss (31,214)
Wooden deck (6,002)

Update Log 

  • November 23, 2012: Updated by Chris Gonnerman: Updated status.

Comments 

Branch Soap Creek Bridge
Posted December 17, 2016, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

I have to share a funny story about this bridge. Back in my younger and dumber years, I used to own a 1984 Dodge Power Ram 4x4, and I loved to go find old dirt roads to play around on. This would have been around eight years ago.

One day in my travels, I headed out to see the old dirt road this bridge is on. I remembered it from my childhood, as it was a shortcut my parents took sometimes when the road was dry. I remembered the winding dirt road dropping down a steep hill and then going over this truss bridge, so I went back out that way with the big Dodge to see it again.

I came into the area from the north, only to find road closed signs where the old dirt road started south off from the main gravel road. Since the road wasn't barricaded, I drove south to the bridge. At the bridge itself, there were signs saying that the bridge was out, but again, no barricades.

I wanted to drive over the old bridge, but the weight limit gave me pause. It was posted for around 3 tons, the same weight as my truck. The fact that the old truss was closed made me wonder just how sturdy it was. Would it still carry that kind of weight?

Finally, I had the bright idea that if I drove across really, really fast, everything should be fine. So, I backed up to give myself plenty of room, buried the gas pedal, opened up the 4-barrel Holley carburetor wide open, and let the 318 under the hood roar. I was easily doing 60mph by the time I got to the bridge.

Unfortunately, I had made one small miscalculation. The bridge actually sat a good foot or two higher than the road, and just before the bridge the road ramped up very hard to gain level with the deck. I hit the foot of the bridge hard and took flight just like Evil Knievel doing a motorcycle jump.

It would have been the perfect scene for a Dukes of Hazzard episode, as a big tan and black Dodge 4x4 went flying through the air, somehow staying straight between the guard rails, and landing hard on the deck in the middle of the bridge. All that was missing was the Dixie Horn.

My fears about the bridge were unfounded. The old truss took it like a champ and didn't even wince. I drove over it many more times in the coming days as I four-wheeled up and down the old dirt road, but my muddin' days came to a screeching halt soon enough. The new owner of the bridge didn't take too kindly to vehicular trespassing, and the road was soon gated off and the bridge barricaded.

A few years later, the big Dodge blew a wheel bearing and destroyed its front end. It went to live in a retirement home in the woods somewhere in rural southeast Iowa, never to threaten another bridge again. Trusses everywhere rejoiced!