"This document was prepared as part of the Iowa Historic Bridges Recording Project performed durng the Summer of 1995 by the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER). The project was sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT). Preliminary research on this bridge was performed by Clayton B. Fraser of Fraserdesign, Loveland, CO."
Historian: Geoffrey H. Goldberg, engineer, August 1995
I figured that is what you meant. I was also thinking of bowstrings when I mentioned this bridge being the last through truss built by the company.
The double-tubular vertical members seem to be indicative of a bowstring bridge built by the BBW.
Sorry, was only thinking Bowstrings when I posted last night. Yes the Charlotte Highway Bridge is a beautiful Whipple truss of the Buckeye Bridge Works that remains in Michigan. Randolph County, Indiana had a smaller Whipple span and some very unique BBW ponies, but all are long gone.
Correction to previous post, there is also a Buckeye Bridge Works span (Whipple Truss) in Michigan:
Regardless, very few representative bridges of any kind, built by this company appear to be extant.
We always lose a few bridges each year due to severe weather, but as all have stated below this is a particularly major loss. Iowa probably has more bowstring trusses than any other state in the USA. The Decorah area is particularly rich in bowstrings.
As far as Buckeye Bridge Works spans, there may be a second one remaining in Kansas. This bridge appears to be a mate to the KSHS example. This would make logical sense as the KSHS bridge was originally a triple span, and the other two spans were reused in Miami County. The bridge was extant in the 1980s, but the status is now unknown.
The Miami County Bowstring, if extant, also appears to be on a private road, much like this Iowa example. This Iowa example may have been the last through bowstring built by this company. Hopefully some salvageable parts can be located.
Two further comments:
1. Some of Iowa's historic truss bridges have been moved off of their abutments and placed on land as a non-functional exhibit. While some people think this is not an optimal solution, I think its a great solution. For all the flooding that goes on in Iowa and how many historic bridges get washed away, its a wonder there is a single historic bridge left in the state. I would argue that when historic bridges are preserved in Iowa, either funding be set in place to raise the bridge to a safe height, otherwise, placing it on land may be the responsible thing to do.
2. Privately owned historic bridges are particularly problematic because their owners often lack the funding to restore the bridges (or raise them up to a safe height). They also likely do not hire trained inspectors to inspect the bridges. Further, traditional funding sources for preservation are not available. Private bridges as such may not be at risk for replacement like public highway bridges, but they are at greater risk for neglect and collapse.
And to make matters worse it's a rare Buckeye Bridge Works span. To my knowledge, the small bowstring at the Kansas Historical Society is now the last remaining.
The ONE bowstring truss in this region of Iowa I did not visit, and what happens? It is the ONE bowstring that gets destroyed. Sometimes I wonder why I remain interested in working with historic bridges. Working with historic bridges is like living with chronic depression. One disaster after another.