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Main Street Bridge (1870)


Charles City 1

Glass plate image


BH Photo #494869


"A temporary timber bridge, installed in 1867, was later replaced in 1870 by a 2-span, 250-foot iron truss bridge, designed and built by W.H. and L.E. Truesdell of Belvidere, Illinois, for $14,422.50. It survived for nearly 40 years, despite an engineer's study in 1892 that concluded: "The bridge is not safe. It should be condemned and replaced by a suitable structure."

"It was not until April 1908 that county supervisors approved construction of a new bridge at this site. They first awarded the contract to the Des Moines-based Marsh Bridge Company for the sum of $33,500; but financial problems with the company at the time delayed the project and the contract was cancelled. In March 1909 the board finally selected the bid of the Advance Construction Company of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Plans for the bridge were prepared by Advance's "Designing Engineer" G.W. Miller; W.A. Hey served as construction supervisor. (The Miller-Hey Construction Company, based in Des Moines, was founded after this bridge was constructed.) The Cedar River Bridge was completed by 1910 for approximately $40,000. The concrete barrel arch style was popular during this period, particularly for major urban crossings."

Iowa D.O.T. website


Lost Truesdell through truss bridge over Cedar River on Main Street in Charles City.
Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1870; Re-decked 1882; Condemned 1892 but not replaced until 1909.
- W.H. & L.E. Truesdell of Belvidere, Illinois
Truesdell through truss
Total length: 250.0 ft.
Also called
Mill Street Bridge
Centennial Mills Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.06612, -92.67987   (decimal degrees)
43°03'58" N, 92°40'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/526065/4768207 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Charles City
Inventory number
BH 71969 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 19, 2021: Updated by Art Suckewer: added more of the Iowa DOT summary which suggests that the bridge survived until 1909 or 1910
  • April 7, 2021: New photo from Chester Gehman
  • April 2, 2021: Updated by Chester Gehman: Changed loss date to 1908 per Iowa DOT website.
  • April 25, 2016: Added by Luke

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