2 votes

Benton Street Bridge (1949)


View Showing North Elevation Of Bridge, Looking South [Ryan}

Photographs were taken by Robert A. Ryan, Bruce A. Harms and Alan L. Wieskamp, April 1989, for HAER

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #123397


Hist Benton St Bridge from Iowa DOT on Vimeo.

Robert 'Sam' L. Carstens/ Benton Street Bridge Collection & Interview

Iowa Department of Transportation


Lost Deck plate girder bridge over Iowa River on Benton Street in Iowa City
Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa
Replaced by new bridge
Built 1949; Demolished 1989; Replaced 1990
- American Bridge Co. of New York (Gary Plant; Subcontractor: Fabrication)
- Jensen Construction Co. of Des Moines, Iowa & Sand Springs, Oklahoma (Contractor)
- Ned L. Ashton of Iowa City, Iowa (Engineer)
- Teleweld, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois (Subcontractor: Welding)
"Crossing the Iowa River in the south-central section of Iowa City, the Benton Street Bridge is an all-welded, continuous, five-span, deck, plate-girder highway bridge. Although all-welded bridges appeared in the United States as early as the 1920s, welding was not widely advocated for new bridge construction until immediately after World War II, when a number of state highway departments began preparing all-welded, deck, plate-girder plans. Designed in 1947 and erected in 1949, the Benton Street Bridge introduced all-welded bridge construction to the State of Iowa, and was nationally recognized as one of the most notable examples of the new genre. An early champion of welding, the bridge's designer, Edward (Ned) L. Ashton, had previously engineered several major Mississippi River crossings, and would subsequently be responsible for the world's first welded aluminum highway bridge, completed in Des Moines, Iowa in 1958. Ashton has justifiably been called "the most distinguished bridge engineer in the history of Iowa."

Jeffrey A. Hess and Robert Hybben, October, 1989

Total length: 592.0 ft.
Deck width: 33.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.65077, -91.53813   (decimal degrees)
41°39'03" N, 91°32'17" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/621730/4612035 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Iowa City West
Inventory number
BH 37391 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 30, 2015: New video from Luke
  • June 18, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Edward L. Ashton"
  • August 7, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: Fixed map as it was way off.
  • November 5, 2008: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added link to Ashton's welded aluminum bridge in Des Moines.
  • September 9, 2008: Added by J.R. Manning

Related Bridges 


  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • HAER IA-30 - Benton Street Bridge
  • Luke