Photo taken October 2005 by Jason & Birgit Smith
BH Photo #101926
Known locally as the Gilliece Bridge, this bowstring through arch and wrought-iron truss is supported by a stone substructure and is approached on the north end by a steel stringer. The bridge dates to 1874, but traces its history some two years earlier. After decades of building short-span timber and stone bridges, Winneshiek County began contracting for all-iron superstructures in 1872; three bridges were built the next year, the Daubersmith Bridge, the Fort Atkinson Bridge and the Gilliece Bridge. Local stonemason Thomas Dwyer built the massive masonry abutments, which, according to county bridge commissioner George Winship, were "by far the best job of masonry in the county, so noted by all who have seen it." The abutments and 95-foot wingwalls consumed almost 212 cords of limestone and 17,898 feet of timber and plank. Ironically, Dwyer stood to lose money on the project if the commissioners had not decided to pay the stonemason an extra $215 for his work because, they reasoned, it was "not fair that the many should benefit at the expense of one poor man." As it had for the preceding two spans, the county purchased a bowstring arch-truss form the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio. Completed in 1874, the Gilliece Bridge cost $6,969.47.
In its extensive dealings with the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, Winneshiek County was simply following a regional trend. In the 1870s, the Ohio-based bridge company became one of the largest fabricators in America, and its president, David Hammond, one of the country's most prolific bridge innovators. The counties and municipalities of Iowa were among WIBCo's best customers. Winneshiek County's almost exclusive relationship with WIBCo was atypical but the Ohio giant was extremely active in the region at this time.
Winneshiek County continued to deal almost exclusively with WIBCos throughout the remainder of the 1870s, erecting several more bowstrings at rural crossings of the Turkey and Upper Iowa Rivers. All but two o these have since been removed. (A third bowstring--the Freeport Bridge--has been moved from its abutments and now is located in a small park in Decorah.) The Gilliece Bridge is historically significant for its association with early county transportation. It is technologically important as a well-preserved example of what was once a mainstay structural type in Iowa - the wrought iron bowstring arch-truss [adapted from Crow-Dolby and Fraser 1992].
- Bowstring through truss bridge over Upper Iowa River on Cattle Creek Road
- Winneshiek County, Iowa
- Closed following collapse.
- Future prospects
- Scheduled for replacement. Available for sale by Workin' Bridges.
- Built 1874 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co. Collapsed under overweight load May 5th, 2017.
- - Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
- Bowstring through truss
Length of largest span: 129.0 ft.
Total length: 151.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 10.6 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 15, 1998
- Also called
- Daleys Bridge
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +43.41487, -91.95870 (decimal degrees)
43°24'54" N, 91°57'31" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 15/584301/4807413 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Land survey
- T. 99 N., R. 9 W., Sec. 6 (Bluffton Township)
- Inventory numbers
- NRHP 98000464 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
IA 348800 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 14734 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- Inspection (as of 04/2015)
- Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 17.0 (out of 100)
- Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
- May 8, 2017: New photos from Julie Bowers
- May 5, 2017: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited History, Status, and Status Description. Collapsed, recovery pending.
- January 17, 2017: New photo from Robert Elder
- May 31, 2016: New photos from Kevin Skow
- July 22, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: Changed name back to what it is known to most locals as, also added description
- July 5, 2011: Updated by Julie Bowers: Updated availability information.
- April 10, 2011: New photos from Benjamin Cole
- January 30, 2011: New photos from Benjamin Cole
- December 19, 2005: Posted photos from Jason and Birgit Smith
- Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
- Benjamin Cole - mountainjam99 [at] gmail [dot] com
- Julie Bowers - jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com
- Historicbridges.org - by Nathan Holth
- Kevin Skow - weatherbum [at] hotmail [dot] com
- Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com