4 votes

IAIS - Ralston Creek Bridge


View from the South

Photo taken by Luke in June 2013

View this photo at 500px.com

BH Photo #256251


Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Ralston Creek on Railroad
Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1900
- Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP (1866-1920); RI (1920-1975) ROCK (1975-1980))
- Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS)
Concrete Closed-spandrel arch
Length of largest span: 55.0 ft.
Total length: 435.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.65332, -91.53180   (decimal degrees)
41°39'12" N, 91°31'54" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/622252/4612326 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Iowa City West
Inventory number
BH 53805 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 16, 2018: New photos from John Marvig
  • August 15, 2013: New photos from John Marvig
  • August 13, 2013: Updated by John Marvig: Added dimensions
  • June 15, 2013: New photos from Luke Harden
  • October 5, 2012: Updated by John Marvig: Added detail-is concrete
  • October 5, 2012: Added by Luke Harden



IAIS - Ralston Creek Bridge
Posted October 17, 2015, by Luke

The attached 1900 map shows a spur of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern crossing Ralston to the south at Lafeyette Street, and the Rock Island bridging only Ralston.

Map source: http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/153978/Iowa+City+3/Jo...

Also Ralston Creek was historically known to flood pretty badly. For example, the Great Flood of 1881.


IAIS - Ralston Creek Bridge
Posted October 17, 2015, by Andrew Ploessl (andrew [dot] ploessl [at] gmail [dot] com)

I wonder if this was built to accommodate the old narrow gauge railroad that used to run nearby. The old roundhouse for it still stands a couple of blocks away. Seems odd for such a structure to be built specifically for a creek that barely flows and could essentially run off towards river without affecting the integrity of the works above...