The end of the Wagon Wheel Bridge came today. https://www.facebook.com/139120672925720/videos/654240111413...
Little keepsake piece from the bridge is almost done. The base is from the bridge decking.
A memorable night watching fireflies dance around the remaining east spans of the Wagon Wheel Bridge last month.
Any confirmation that this bridge was saved? Only item I could find in an Internet search was "A June 4 open house at Nelson Park will celebrate two new cabins and the installation of a new walking bridge." (http://www.dbrnews.com/rothe-new-nelson-park-ranger/article_...) This jives with the time frame this bridge was taken down based on satellite imagery of the site from May 2016. The new 2016 satellite data does not cover the campgrounds west of Dow City.
Jason - Sent you an email a few days ago about your request.
The western two spans have been completely removed and the area cleaned of all debris. A 4-5 foot dirt berm has been placed between the road and where the bridge used to stand. The concrete base of the western approach is the only portion of the bridge that was left. While the area under the bridge has been filled and cleaned-up, I traced the path that the dismantled bridge was hauled up the embankment to the road and found a few token fragments of the truss. This riveted piece from one of the verticals (I think from the section that collapsed judging by the water damage to the metal) was the best that I could find.
Reviewing before and after imagery in Google Earth, it appears like the southern river bank at and immediately to the west of the bridge gave out, with the falling trees pushing the bridge into the river. I can only make out the northern 1/3 to 1/2 of the span sitting above the water. The rest appears to have been destroyed.
A little more graffiti than I had hoped to see last night.
Anyone know the future plans for this bridge? It was supposed to be replaced four years ago, but remains intact and still in use. Visited the old gal earlier in the week and she's still looking good.
Sad is truly an understatement. I'll miss this bridge. Aerial photos are posted at: https://www.facebook.com/WagonWheelBridge/
A comparison of 1930s aerial imagery and 2015 satellite imagery from the ISU GIS page shows just how much the river has shifted over the course of the bridge's life. When first constructed, the main channel was under the east Pennsylvania truss and the west river bank was located at the center of the bridge, with two trusses over dry land on the west side of the river. Now, the main channel is near the center pier that shifted recently. The west bank of the river was rocked some time ago, so the channel hasn't changed much since the 70s or 80s. Given the amount of scouring that has taken place around that pier and how it was not intended to be in the middle of the river, it is probably a miracle that the bridge has lasted so long.
Latest news on the bridge: http://newsrepublican.com/news/local/no-timetable-yet-wagon-...
A video of today's flight around the stricken bridge can be found at: https://youtu.be/inypud_wh6g
The county seems very adamant on keeping people away from the dying bridge. Both approaches are barricaded about a half mile from the bridge, making it difficult getting to the span. Here is an aerial comparison of the western pier now and back in August, showing how much it shifted.
Ice Damage to the Wagon Wheel bridge this morning. As of early this afternoon, it was still standing.