Here is a classic example of a great truss bridge being put in danger by a failing substructure. This happens all too often across the country, and there are multiple reasons why it can happen.
Although this is a mundane artifact, it is a faint remnant of infrastructure gone almost without a trace for over half a century. We need these small reminders of our past scattered around the countryside.
Its going to be replaced but sounds like the trusses go in storage for reuse: http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/iowa/historic-beaver-cre...
I live a few blocks from here and checked out the new MOB the other day. Not a pretty sight. While the old bridge was not that significant, it sure was nicer than the current structure.
This bridge actually was somewhat damaged in 1990 or 1993. I helped sandbag South Duff during those floods.
At least I remember it as being a bit misaligned in the mid 1990s, but still crossable.
I remember picking wild hops on the trail between South 4th and the bridge. I did use them in a homebrew, but don't remember if it was an IPA. 🤣
The railroad was removed in the early 1980s.
The tracks crossed L-way and passed along the east edge of the DOT property. South Grand Avenue didn't exist then. Grand Avenue ended at L-way.
Not shocking. IAIS has plans in place to replace a lot of bridges, including all the old trusses. Shameful loss of history.
Drove by last night and discovered the bridge has been replaced by a concrete bridge.
I went on Sunday figuring it would be quieter in town. I have observed many times that there can be a late afternoon lull in RR traffic on Sundays & Fridays. (as I also photograph trains) I counted on that lull. I started in Montour at 2:09, I followed the weather & counted on the sun being out by the time I was at the bridge which worked out. I arrived back in town just at sunset. A train came at 2:43 when I was half way there & then at 4:58 as I arrived back. I planned very carefully for this one.
Pretty daring adventure. What day of week and time did you do it? How many trains came by? I go to school in Ames and I know that it is a very busy mainline.
Basically I hiked all the way to it & the other bridges along that track, then back to Montour. I picked a time when I knew RR traffic would be lighter to make it much safer. I had tried to get to it 2 other times.
You beat me to this one! How did you get back to it?
Looks like the portal was redone at some point?
County still retains ownership, but control and preservation is now in the hands of the Jones County Historical Society, who is fundraising for preservation: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/news-track-preservati...
Rumoured to be doomed, but that has been met with public backlash: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/historic-p...
Bridge appears to have been replaced
I visited this bridge August 2017 and it is closed to all traffic.
Judging by the aerial imagery, that extra set of piers under the bridge has probably been there for a while. It appears to have been there in 2014 and even as far back as 2012. Not sure why those extra piers would be built, except for additional support. Weird.
Good work John, very unique bridge.
I suspect this bridge was made of recycled parts, especially when considering the numerous different builders.
As of September 2017 , this bridge has been closed over a year. The town said it was being repaired , but it was torn up pretty bad and has sat that way since at least last fall . The concrete railing is falling off and looks in danger of collapse. Trains still go under the bridge daily .
Nice trussed floor beams!
Nope. I did notice it has been removed them last few times I drove by.
Juls... Did you buy this one finally?
Looks like this bridge has been removed from this location.
I parked at the main highway to the north to get back here. Hope that helps!
is there anywhere to park to get to these
Daniel added this based off of info posted by James Holzmeier, so he listed it as the old Wabash bridge, which was a truss.
But this isn't the Wabash line, and I agree with the assessment that it was a DPG.
The Wabash ran on the other side of the river.
The weight limit is now 3 Tons. Both signs have been changed.
Bridge was officially rededicated on 17 Jul 2017 in accordance with this resolution:
Very neat old pony! I wonder if this obscure firm might have been the predecessors to the Clinton Bridge & Iron Works.
This is an exceptionally interesting bridge. I will have to put it on the bucket list.
I added this bridge today. If the community feels it isn't appropriate for this site because it may be modern, or whatever, feel free to remove it.
I do not know the build date or much other information about it, but I found it to be interesting.
I assume no loaded grain trucks will be driving over it anytime soon. If you're in the Upper Iowa river region, check it out!
Welcome to Iowa.
In my personal opinion, the city council is corrupt, overwrought and unable to meet the demands of the people, esp. as the bridge itself is the key route right now. A referendum is definitely needed now in order for the structure to have any chance.
Not to worry, Tony. I'm compiling an article for my column slamming the decision. They seem to be way off the mark in terms of logic. Why don't they just simply leave the bridge alone and get it fixed?
A modern truss bridge is "Historically relevant"?... What an IDIOT!!!
This bridge is under the radar for replacement after the city council rejected funding for repairing the bridge. More details here:
I think perhaps this was the old Milwaukee railroad not the CNW.
There was a restaurant for many years called the Toll Bridge Inn at the site of the former toll booths. I lived in Dubuque for short time and moved in 2002. Sometime a few years later, the restaurant was torn down and the entire leading up to it was removed from the side of the bluff. It must have been considered highly unstable, because it seemed like such a strange thing to do.
My understanding is the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern was taken over by the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in the 1960's and this line was used for a time in regular freight service after the end of the interuban. The CNW eventually abandoned it before the Boone and Scenic Valley acquired it's stretch of track in the 1980's. So, the CNW could be added to the railroads.
Article about city approval of new replacement bridge, which is now under construction. https://www.waukonstandard.com/articles/2016/08/03/lansing-c...
I believe the coordinates for this bridge are incorrect. The correct ones being as follows >
Field visit today: the pieces are in a big pile on the east side.
Is this bridge still there?
I imagine the new bridge was built in 2011/12. After the new bridge was put into service, the old one was removed in 2013.
Thanks Tony.I agree with you 100%.acts of stupidity they were,that's for sure.
Two different bridges George... Turkey River was just demolished and replaced with a new bridge, while Gilliece was collapsed by an overweight truck.
...Both acts of stupidity!
Robert,i did look on both the bridgehunter site and on the site that Nathan referenced and didn't see nothing about a truck demolishing the bridge you cited,just that it was demolished for no good reason which totally stinks.
Thanks for the update. I have been following the story as much as possible.
The Red Bridge in Des Moines is "high"lighted (pun intended) in this Associated Press article, which has been published in a number of newspapers today such as the Chicago Tribune. It reports on a number of bridges that are being raised in inland areas of the country due to increasing flood risk.
As of last week the parts were still at the bridge awaiting some decision, according to Lee.
We still want them to do something or well take them. Such a waste but .... where there is a will there is a way.
Yes, here is the link:
Nathan documented it on his website as well:
Does anybody know the latest news on the Gilliece Bridge? I'm going to be in the area next week and may visit the site -- if there's anything left to see.
Robert,so you're saying there is a truss bridge over Turkey River that got demolished?If so,is it on Bridgehunters?
I can understand the confusion, especially if someone was not familiar with the area. There are/were multiple Bowstring bridges in this area. This one crossed the Upper Iowa River, but another one crossed the Turkey River. The Turkey River Bowstring was demolished.
Luke,this has to be the bridge i was talking about.The only part of the story about this bridge was the wrong river was printed in the article.Should have been the Upper Iowa River,not the Turkey River like they printed.Just goes to show even the media sometimes get it wrong.
We need post editing function! lol
Gotta get out on that trail myself one of these days!
King post is possibly at 43.274223, -91.793415.
It's too small to cross Trout Run. (I think)
Looking at the location of the bridge on the map, it appears that it is a MOB. I'm also concerned because of the removal from the NRHP. Does anyone have any insight into this?
It was the supervisors in this case.
The article has been archived but I wrote an update on this bridge: http://thebridgehunter.areavoices.com/2017/06/06/chimney-roc...
Probably one of the best saves Bjerke has made in his career sofar.
Repair vs. replacement recommended!!:
Blackhawk bridge has reopened after being closed due to road washout(leading to a fatal accident) on the Wisconsin side.
2 Million for a 50 Car a day bridge... Makes sense to me!
Luke maybe where rt78 crosses?
Any update on the bridge?
As of April 2017, the Shaw Road Bridge in Jones County, IA is closed indefinitely due to a fracture in the north span.
http://monticelloexpress.com/content/farmers-express-issues-... (Full article is paywalled, but the summary mentions the approximate time of and reason for the closure).
http://www.jonescountyiowa.org/utilities (Source of the "closed indefinitely" qualifier).
I wondered if this might be a Frankenbridge, or at least a heavily modified bridge. I have come to learn that there are a lot more of those out there than one might think.
I look for empty rivet holes when I visit a bridge now, but I didn't notice the ones here.
UI Engineering senior project?
Take a look at Photo #7. End post terminates prematurely into gusset plate containing empty rivet holes (evidence of salvaged material). Elsewhere, welded construction is apparent. It appears to be a "Redneck" bridge. Sometimes when you have someone hold your beer while you build a bridge, the diagonals just don't quite come out where they are supposed to be, you know? And someones that pesky endpost, just isn't quite long enough... That's what the scrap plate in the back of the truck is for!
In short, I don't really think a specific truss classification was a consideration during this bridge's fabrication!
Bizarre... I've never seen one quite like this!
So, is there a such thing as a half-hip Warren truss? This question is about half serious and half joking...
Charges are pending.
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!
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.
Anonymous,that is what i'm talking about!It won't ruin the bridge at all if you put one on each side where dumb truckers can't drive around them and you won't have no repairs from these stupid accidents.
Just a note that Nathan has video of crossing the bridge in the good old days. Not so long ago...
Headache Bar - Low Clearance Barrier
It has everything to do with politics. Local politics. We'll see if it can slow down bio calling of the State shpo office to consider pulling it out utilizing back steel as well as Brennan construction who will start the removal tomorrow for $4,000 a day not just $4,000 which they made it sound like at the supervisors meeting.
We will see. Their concern is river traffic and potential rising water. I understand, but the. Reward could get here. I don't know if I'm enough but I am here.
Money, the gang could get here.
Thanks Art.Just an idea that i thought might work.I do remember seeing what everybody calls a "headache bar" on Bridgehunters.Don't remember which bridge,though.
So it was GPS. It took me on level b roads and there was no signage that there was the 2 ton bridge as well as the historic bridge on the road. Looks like he came down the hill and went over the bridge. I think, imho that the mid weigh of the trucks axles spinning on the expansion joint pushed the shoes back into the river and left him hanging right there.
It appears to be in better shape than our bridge back in the day. I've posted images. Broken at the splice plates, vertical posts got bent at threaded rod, some bending at the shoes, The eye bars are under the planks. Sure that most of the diagonal and lateral rod is hosed but hell..... Even the planks look good.
The supervisors are meeting this morning. I shall be there with a proposal that gets the gang here to pull it out and then get quotes on the restoration and rehabilitation.
I said that this was not an accident because the driver made the decision to take a chance and continue across with his loaded vehicle. I assume he thought he could make it, and apparently almost did make it.
I would have never tried it. A heavy passenger vehicle like a suburban has a curb weight approaching 3 tons, and that's the maximum that the signage on the bridge allowed for.
A bad gamble, a stupid choice, but not an accident.
I am not sure anyone did this on purpose. But again there does not need to be intent for their to be guilt in this sort of matter. The truck driver and the company they represent is at fault and should be forced to pay.
Although I admit I had these same kinds of thoughts about intent years ago with this bridge:
Oh good grief, better call Homeland Security!
Well, good luck. I look forward to seeing your updates. This was a tragedy, but hopefully something good can come out of it. We all appreciate the great work that you do. Just let us know how we can assist you.
Expensive load. Not yet but will be tonight.
I had not considered intent. It just seems that some folks don't understand how to convert pounds to tons or how to interpret weight limit signs (ie when weight limits are based on the number of axles).
Are you on scene?
Anybody considered that it was intentional? Just saying, that bridge, our bridge, was in the way.
Yes, we are on it, to ask hard questions and try like hell to save what can be saved with as little more destruction to on as possible. But it is twisted and broken.
We know how to do it if it can be done.
As for the future of this bridge, I sure hope that it can be salvaged. I know Julie sure has experience with getting a Bowstring out of the river.
I just wish that we could prevent such collapses in the first place. It is always easier to deal with a bridge before it goes in the river.
Yes, I agree. Political affiliation has nothing to do with this. That's what I was trying to say in my first comment.
Well put Art! It has nothing to do with politics!!
Regarding the bridge:
My biggest concern is ensuring that damage to the bridge is minimized.
The Maple Rapids Road bridge was pulled from the river while I was. In the hospital so I was unavailable to be involved - the methods used destroyed the possibility of rehabilitating bridge.
Is anyone ensuring this one will be removed correctly so that it may be preserved?
To all discussing politics:
What does a moron taking the wrong route, coming upon an old bridge clearly not designed to handle his truck, but deciding to 'go for it' because he lacked the skill to back out have to do with party affiliation, gender choice or the political decisions of this and prior governments?
Also, if you are going to make a political statement, have the balls to post your name and email. Otherwise you are a coward.
Unfortunately, no it won't. In my opinion, the Indiana bridge collapsed because the truck hit the portal bracing.
What a shame.
Canoed under the bridge many times. Glad I wasn't on the water yesterday.
I agree that this was no accident. I cant imagine what the driver was thinking about that he couldn't see the wildly unsafe condition that existed in trying to drive such a truck over a bridge with a 3 ton rating.
I drive my Yukon cautiously over these old bridges.
This was no accident,it was a act of stupidity and ignorance,Throw the book at the driver his job be damned.
This kind of stuff happen all the time in the county,This guy just got his Truck caught.
Honestly, I don't think that either side is going to win this debate. I would rather see donkeys and elephants working together to maintain our infrastructure in the United States.
Using Federal money for repair instead of just for replacement would be a good start. Obviously, a bowstring bridge is not going to carry an 18-wheeler, but many of our post-World War II bridges, including truss bridges, can be maintained for continued use. Even 1870s and 1880s bridges can continue to carry light vehicular traffic if maintained properly. To use a popular sewing analogy, a stich in time saves nine.
Of course, sometimes a bridge has to be replaced. One nice thing about truss bridges is that they can be disassembled and reassembled with ease. Not only can this process be cost-effective, it can also be green. Placing a historic bridge on a hiking trail is a form of recycling.