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Cambridge Bridge


Photo provided by Hank Zaletel

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)


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BH Photo #322809



In April 1876 the Story County Board of Supervisors directed County Clerk S.J. Shearer to advertise for three iron bridges over the South Skunk River. One would span the river at Soper's Mill north of Ames, the second would be located in Grant Township, and the third would span the South Skunk River just east of the small town of Cambridge, in Union Township. By far the longest of the three, this last bridge consisted of an 80-foot wrought iron truss supported by cylinder piers over the river's channel, with a 200-foot timber pile approach. The contract to fabricate and erect the three spans was awarded in June to the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

King apparently completed the three bridges later that year, but in September 1877 the Cambridge Bridge already required repairs. The truss's deck and stone substructure needed occasional repairs in subsequent years, the most serious of which was a partial reconstruction of the crumbling stone abutments in 1899. By the mid-1910s the Cambridge Bridge was no longer sufficient to carry traffic at this crossing. In 1916 the county hired the Ben Cole & Sons Construction Company of Ames to replace the bridge and to move the old truss to a new crossing of the South Skunk River southeast of Ames. [Adapted from Fraser 1992].


Lost Bowstring through truss bridge over South Skunk River on Road
Story County, Iowa
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1876; Replaced 1916
- King Iron Bridge & Manufacturing Co. of Cleveland, Ohio [also known as King Bridge Co.]
Bowstring through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.90436, -93.51996   (decimal degrees)
41°54'16" N, 93°31'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/456873/4639288 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 67074 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 17, 2016: Updated by Dana and Kay Klein: South Skunk
  • August 20, 2016: Updated by Luke: Added information
  • April 17, 2015: Added by Luke

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