3 votes

Galeton Bridge


Iowa Department of Transportation


BH Photo #265830



In January 1894 the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors awarded a contract to Thomas Seevers to build all of the county's iron bridges for that year. This marked the first time that county thus contracted with the Oskaloosa, Iowa, contractor and manufacturer. A pipe manufacturer primarily, Seevers supplied his distinctively designed pipe trusses to the county in subsequent years until about 1905. The bridges that he fabricated featured wrought iron or steel pipe upper chords and end posts, with eye bar lower chords and diagonals. The pipes were attached using cast iron bearing shoes and hip blocks; the other members were joined using more conventional pinned connections. Built circa 1900, this bridge is a typically configured, well-preserved example of Seevers' technology.The pipe truss configuration of this bridge-different from virtually every other bridge type made in Iowa-was a standard one for Seevers. Founded around 1880 by Tomas Seevers, the Oskaloosa-based firm manufactured steam and hot water heaters, pipe fittings, architectural iron works and tubular bridges. Although they were durable, economic and structurally sound, Seevers' bridges never found widespread acceptance in the state, and Seevers was never a major player outside of southeastern Iowa. He died circa 1910, and the firm was continued by his family until circa 1923. The tubular trusses that Seevers fabricated have diminished in number through subsequent attrition. This bridge is thus technologically significant as a well-preserved example of an esoteric structural type, designed and fabricated by a small-scale Iowa company [adapted from Fraser 1992].


Pony truss bridge over an unnamed creek on Galeton Avenue
Mahaska County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1900
- Seevers Manufacturing Co. of Oskaloosa, Iowa
Kingpost pony truss
Length of largest span: 27.9 ft.
Total length: 28.9 ft.
Deck width: 16.1 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.37163, -92.73759   (decimal degrees)
41°22'18" N, 92°44'15" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/521945/4580045 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 76 N., R. 16 W., Sec. 20
Inventory numbers
IA 237510 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 13987 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of December 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 24.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • September 4, 2013: New photo from Luke Harden
  • September 27, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: Added builder.
  • August 11, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: Corrected name and added description and photograph



Galeton Bridge
Posted September 4, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I hope so since this is an extremely rare and unusual historic bridge with its pipe top chord and associated connection details.

Galeton Bridge
Posted September 4, 2013, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I spoke with the Mahaska County Engineer today and I believe this is the bridge he said they were trying to save and move it to a bike path.