1 vote

Honey Creek Bridge


Overall View Of Bridge And Honey Creek, Looking North

Photo by Clayton B. Fraser, February 1992, for HAER

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #123652



Road and bridge conditions throughout Iowa were dismal around the turn of the century. Individually responsible for road construction, the counties rarely followed any systematic planning, and maintenance was largely sporadic and inept, despite statewide annual expenditures of more than four million dollars. In response, the legislature formed the Iowa State Highway Commission in 1904 to help the counties manage their road and bridge work. At that time, less than two percent of the state's roads were surfaced with gravel, and the "mud roaders"-a politically potent group opposed to government spending on road improvement-head sway with the county governments. The roads were poor, but the bridges were even worse. As a solution, the IHSC advocated using reinforced concrete for bridge construction. It built concrete demonstration culverts to illustrate their utility, durability, and ease of construction. The commission also prepared standard designs for small-scale concrete bridges and special designs for larger structures in many counties. These initial efforts had minimal impact on bridge building, however, as the counties relied either on their own engineers or on commercial contractors for bridge design, and they invariably placed economy before safety in bridge construction. The county participated in the ISHC's concrete culvert demonstration program in 1907, and hired Des Moines bridge builder N.M. Stark to build three small-scale structures. The largest of these structures spanned Honey Creek near Bangor. The Honey Creek Bridge consists of three simply-supported concrete deck girder spans with an overall length of 94 feet. All of the bridge's components are reinforced concrete. Four-foot high concrete parapets form the guardrails, which joins with 8-inch high concrete cubs to enclose a 20-foot wide roadway. The parapets are faced with slightly recessed panels, providing the only architectural features for the otherwise plain structures. Costing $4,250, the Honey Creek bridge was completed in 1910; since that time it has carried vehicular traffic in unaltered condition. Built by one of Iowa's most prominent and controversial bridge contractors during the heyday of his career, the Honey Creek Bridge was also one fo the earliest concrete girders built in Iowa and among the last of the structures built before the state-wide adoption of standardized designs [adapted from Fraser 1989]


Concrete girder bridge over Honey Creek on 105th Street and Hart Avenue
Marshall County, Iowa
Open to traffic but replacement expected
Built 1910
- N.M. Stark & Co. of Des Moines, Iowa
Concrete through/pony girder
Length of largest span: 32.2 ft.
Total length: 98.1 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.20136, -93.09911   (decimal degrees)
42°12'05" N, 93°05'57" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/491817/4672138 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 85 N., R. 19 W., Sec. 06
Average daily traffic (as of 2013)
Inventory numbers
IA 244240 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 14017 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 2015)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 29.9 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


Built 1910 (1,079)
Built during 1910s (9,105)
Concrete girder (899)
Doomed (1,066)
Girder (8,871)
Iowa (6,109)
Marshall County, Iowa (85)
N.M. Stark & Co. (41)
NR-eligible (3,990)
Open (37,956)
Owned by county (19,498)
Span length 25-50 feet (14,497)
Structurally deficient (17,432)
Through girder (3,298)
Total length 75-100 feet (6,241)

Update Log 

  • November 26, 2011: Updated by James Baughn: Removed duplicate listing
  • February 20, 2010: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated bridge data
  • September 11, 2008: New photos from J.R. Manning



Honey Creek Bridge
Posted August 28, 2015, by Jason Smith (flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com)

This bridge is doomed. Demolition and replacement to commence in 2016: http://www.timesrepublican.com/page/content.detail/id/591536...