1 vote

Keosauqua Bridge (Old)


Photo provided by Hank Zaletel

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #246222



In February 1873 the Van Buren County Board of Supervisors contracted with the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, to build a major wagon bridge over the Des Moines River at Keosauqua. Comprised of four bowstring arch-truss spans, supported by massive stone piers with tapered upstream cutwaters, the Keosauqua was the county's first major all-iron structure. WIBCo used its patented, tubular bowstring design, completing the structure by September of that year. As a pivotal crossing at the county's center, the Keosauqua Bridge carried heavy wagon, and later automobile, traffic for some 65 years. By the late 1930s, however, the original bridge showed signs of wear and created a bottleneck to traffic with its narrow roadway. In 1938 the Iowa State Highway Commission designed a replacement superstructure for the bridge, to be placed on new concrete caps that flared over the original stone abutments and piers. [Adapted from Fraser 1991].


Lost Bowstring through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Road
Keosauqua, Van Buren County, Iowa
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1873; Replaced 1938
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Bowstring through truss
Total length: 616.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.72801, -91.96072   (decimal degrees)
40°43'41" N, 91°57'39" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/587764/4509083 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 55114 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 19, 2016: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • March 20, 2016: Updated by Art Suckewer: Added picture and corrected dates
  • February 7, 2016: Updated by Art Suckewer: added pictures and overall length
  • January 3, 2013: Added by Luke Harden

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