Description: This unusual Whipple truss spans the Wapsipinicon River in northern Linn County. It was built in 1879 by the Ohio-based Canton Wrought Iron Bridge Company for $3,400. The timber and stone substructure was constructed by Cloyston and Wood for $1564.72. The bridge is a fairly rare example of a double-intersection Pratt truss, also known as a "Whipple" truss, which was first developed by Squire Whipple, an early American engineer, in 1847. Additional construction documentation for this long-span truss do not exist in county records. Barring a minor replacement, the aesthetically striking Upper Paris Bridge carries intermittent vehicular traffic in its rural setting. The Upper Paris Bridge is distinguished as a well-preserved, large-scale example of a Whipple truss. Basically a Pratt with diagonals that extent over two panels, the Whipple truss was seldom employed for wagon trusses in the state. Few were ever erected and fewer yet remain today. This structure is one of only eight pin-connected Whipple through trusses remaining in Iowa and is the longest of eight. For its exceeding rare use of wrought iron components, its rare truss configuration, and its overall length, the Upper Paris Bridge is a structurally significant wagon crossing in Iowa.
"This Whipple through truss is structurally significant wagon crossing and a rare example of a double-intersection Pratt truss with the rare use of wrought iron components along with its truss configuration (diagonals extending over two panels). It is one of only eight pin-connected Whipple through trusses remaining in Iowa and is the longest of the eight.
"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."
Historians: Richard Vidutis, Jim Hippen