9 votes

New Savanna-Sabula Bridge


Photo taken by John Imel in October 2017


BH Photo #405775



New bridge replaced historic Savanna-Sabula Bridge.

However, on February 27 2018, the US52 Running Slough Bridge on the Iowa side was suddenly closed when one of its piers was washed out by Mississippi River floodwaters, and it sagged. This closed the only Iowa access to the main bridge. Currently the road is barricaded at the Illinois abutment of the main bridge, and in Sabula at the US52 Running Slough Bridge. This forces a 36-mile detour, and it has also been replaced by temporary ferry and bus services.

Local sources say that the US52 Running Slough Bridge is proving troublesome to replace, due to unstable soils and new river flooding. Therefore there is no prediction as to when the Mississippi River crossing between Savanna and Sabula can reopen.

The new Running Slough Bridge was completed and both spans reopened the first week of September 2018, and the ferry service discontinued.


Steel network tied-arch bridge over Mississippi River on US-52/IA-64/IL-64
Savanna, Carroll County, Illinois, and Jackson County, Iowa
Future prospects
Reopened Sept. 2018 when connecting US52 Running Slough Bridge was completed.
Built 2016-2018 to replace original Savanna-Sabula Bridge built in 1932; closed February 2018 with loss of adjacent US52 Running Slough Bridge; reopened Sept. 2018
- Bumpy's Steel Erection of East St. Louis, Illinois
- Edward Kraemer & Sons, Inc. of Plain, Wisconsin
Steel network tied arch bridge
Also called
Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.10415, -90.15954   (decimal degrees)
42°06'15" N, 90°09'34" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/734865/4665244 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 75038 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 25, 2021: New photo from Steve Conro
  • February 23, 2020: New photos from Steve Conro
  • October 2, 2018: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Bridge reopened to traffic
  • July 11, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge is closed due to loss of a bridge on only access road
  • February 24, 2018: Updated by Amanda: Various updates
  • October 12, 2017: New photos from John Imel
  • September 13, 2017: New photos from John Imel
  • July 17, 2017: Updated by Luke: Re-named to common name; Added official name to alt names section
  • July 16, 2017: New photo from John Imel
  • July 6, 2017: New photos from John Imel
  • January 3, 2017: Added by John Imel

Related Bridges 


  • Luke
  • Roger Deschner - rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • Steve Conro - sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com


New Savanna-Sabula Bridge
Posted November 26, 2021, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have a difficult time liking this bridge, because of what it replaced, and how. The excuse to replace it was that an Iowa approach span was in poor condition, and they saw no way to fix that without closing the whole bridge for a time. But their gambit failed, when a connecting bridge in Iowa failed, which alas, closed the whole crossing and required a ferry substitution. If they had been willing to put in a ferry in the first place, they could have fixed and saved the historic bridge.

Tied arch bridges do not seem to have very good longevity, because the lower chord is in extreme tension and is fracture-critical, as we saw at I-40 in Memphis. This new bride may not last very long.

This whole fiasco has me very distrustful of Iowa DOT, especially regarding the upstream Blackhawk Bridge, where they are making the same argument - that rehabilitating the historic bridge would require closing the crossing for a time. Their latest plans for Blackhawk will now require closing the crossing for a time anyway. This is why I have been fighting to save the Blackhawk Bridge. Because Iowa DOT used a specious argument to get rid of the historic Savanna-Sabula Bridge. Iowa DOT has much better things to spend this taxpayer money on, such as widening I-80 and replacing the ugly and inadequate I-80 bridge over the Mississippi.

New Savanna-Sabula Bridge
Posted September 14, 2018, by Brianna Tarness (briannatarness82 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge has been reopened.

Savanna Sabula Rt 52&64 replacement
Posted January 3, 2017, by Anonymous

Poop Quake!