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Iowa State Highway Commission

of Ames, Iowa
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On April 13, 1904, the 30th General Assembly and Governor A.B. Cummins approved House File 371, an act that created the Iowa State Highway Commission (ISHC). The commission was originally established as part of the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (today the Iowa State University of Science and Technology) in Ames.

The commission’s principal duties were to provide information and act as an administrative advisory agent to the local jurisdictions. Although severely handicapped by a biennial appropriation of $7,000, the commission was to conduct public highway demonstrations, disseminate information to county supervisors, formulate standards for highway repair and construction, investigate the road problems of Iowa, and record and report progress to the governor each fiscal year.

The work was assigned to the divisions of Agriculture and Engineering, directed by C.F. Curtiss and Anson Marston, respectively. Other staff members included Thomas MacDonald, H.M. Bainer, and J.T. Hoover.

While productive, the commission remained hindered by the lack of funds and necessary specialized skills. The commission needed additional funds to carry on “extensive laboratory tests of properties of Iowa road materials, and to build sections of experimental roads, to give actual working tests of material and methods of construction suited to Iowa’s special needs.” Other initiatives included testing and designing concrete culverts and bridges, compiling and publishing road census information, and extending the effort to map county roads in Iowa.

To alleviate the problems inherent in the “disproportionate” relationship between results and expenditures, the commission invested in conducting a road school in June 1905. Split between discussion and demonstration, students received instruction on culvert construction and road machinery, and tools of highway engineers, and listened to lectures by experienced engineers.

On April 9, 1913, the IHC separated from the Iowa State College, becoming an independent state-administered organization, managed by a three-member commission, comprised of Anson Marston, H.C. Beard and J.W. Holden.

Immediately, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, the newly organized IHC attempted to resolve many detrimental business practices that undermined the needs of the state. First, the IHC noticed that the state was divided into districts by supply and bridge companies, allowing insufficient competition and limited oversight. To adequately tackle such tremendous responsibilities, the IHC increased its personnel and re-organized itself into four departments, namely the Office, Designing, Field, and Educational. The commission also was given supervisory control over all county and township road officials, although county supervisors and trustees remained directly in charge of road management and allotted funds.

The IHC continued to operate for 62 years, adapting to the changing needs of the state and making significant contributions to modern highway engineering and construction. Ultimately, it slowly became an integral part of state and federal legislative initiatives, gaining a national reputation for excellence.

By the late 1960s, it was clear that the existing transportation networks were in need of transformation. In 1969, Governor Robert Ray responded by initiating a transportation study by the Office of Planning and Programming. Over the next couple of years, the Task Force on Modernization of Iowa’s Transportation System, in conjunction with a Department of Transportation Study Committee, formed the legislative backbone of for Governor Ray’s transportation initiatives.

In 1974, the 65th Iowa General Assembly created the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT), albeit through a long legislative process. It placed other modal agencies, including an Aeronautics Commission, under the department’s responsibility to promote more orderly and effective planning and funding of programs, and to achieve a more balanced transportation system.

In 1974, the legislature also created the Iowa Transportation Commission, consisting of seven members. Members are appointed by the governor and subject to Senate confirmation. No more than four persons can represent the same political party. Serving four-year terms, members are responsible for periodically reviewing programs of the department and making all major investment policy decisions.

For more than a century, the IHC and Iowa DOT have promoted the growth and betterment of Iowa’s transportation system. Still headquartered in Ames, the agency continues to serve the transportation needs of Iowa and its citizens.

The Iowa Department of Transportation and Iowa Transportation Commission, who remain headquartered in Ames, continue to serve the citizens of Iowa today.

Source: http://www.iowadot.gov/about/organizationalhistory.htm


Adams Parkway Bridge (Bremer County, Iowa)
Design, 1968
Haunched deck plate girder bridge over Cedar River on Adams Parkway
Open to traffic

Adelphi RFD 1 Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Lost Concrete deck girder bridge over Unnamed Tributary of the Des Moines River on Adelphi RFD 1
Replaced by a new bridge

Alburnett Road Bridge (Linn County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Lost concrete arch bridge over Indian Creek on Alburnett Road
Replaced by new bridge

Amana Road Unnamed Stream Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1940
Steel stringer bridge over Unnamed Stream on Fm Amana Road
Open to traffic

Anderson Canoe Access Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Concrete Culvert over Small Drainage Creek on Road to Anderson Canoe Access
Open to traffic

Apple Creek Bridge (Linn County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Steel stringer bridge over Apple Creek on Washington Street
Open to traffic

Apple Road Bridge (Clayton County, Iowa)
Built 1949
Concrete arch bridge over an unnamed creek on Apple Road
Open to traffic

Avenue D Bridge (Page County, Iowa)
Built 1949
Steel Stringer Bridge over East Nishnabotna River on D Avenue
Open to traffic

Bacon Creek Bridge (Ida County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Steel stringer bridge over Bacon Creek on 165th Street (D22)
Open to traffic

Baldwin Creek Bridge (Cedar County, Iowa)
Design, 1924
Lost pony truss bridge over Baldwin Creek on Delta Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Ballard Creek Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Warren pony truss bridge over Ballard Creek on 570th Avenue
Open to traffic

Ballard's Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, 1929
Through truss bridge over English River on former Nn Avenue
Derelict/abandoned

Bear Creek Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Design, 1914
Steel stringer bridge over Bear Creek on Illinois Avenue
Open to traffic

Bear Creek Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1968
Pony truss bridge over Bear Creek on Robin Avenue
Open to traffic

Beaver Avenue Bridge (1914) (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1914
Lost Concrete deck girder bridge over Beaver Creek on Beaver Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Beaver Creek Bridge (Mitchell County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Pony truss bridge over Beaver Creek on 400 Street
Open to traffic

Beaver Creek Bridge (Butler County, Iowa)
Built 1926
Girder bridge over Beaver Creek on US 20
Replaced by a new bridge

Beaver Creek Bridge (Boone County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Steel stringer bridge over Beaver Creek on Local road
Open to traffic

Beaver Dam Creek Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Pony truss bridge over Beaver Dam Creek on Mallard Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Beemis Creek Bridge (Floyd County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1932
Lost pony truss bridge over Beemis Creek on Balsam Avenue
Replaced by new bridge

Belleville Bridge (Webster County, Iowa)
Built 1937
Lost Warren through truss with all verticals bridge over Des Moines River on 340th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Big Bear Creek Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1920
Through truss bridge over Big Bear Creek on 160th Street
Derelict/abandoned

Big Indian Creek Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1969
Pony truss bridge over Big Indian Creek on Lark Avenue
Open to traffic

Big Indian Creek Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1967
Pony truss bridge over Big Indian Creek on Quill Road
Open to traffic

Big Mill Creek Bridge (Jackson County, Iowa)
Built 1986
Pony truss bridge over Big Mill Creek on 258th Street
Open to traffic

Big Muddy Creek Bridge (Clay County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Lost pony truss bridge over Meadow Creek on 290th Street
No longer exists

Bigler Creek Bridge (Benton County, Iowa)
Concrete rigid frame bridge over Bigler Creek on Jones Street SE
Open to traffic

Black Diamond Road SW Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Lost through truss bridge over Old Mans; Creek on Black Diamond Road SW
Replaced by a new bridge

Blackhawk Bridge (East Channel) (Wapello County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Blackhawk Street in Ottumwa
Demolished

Blair Bridge (Washington County, Nebraska)
Built 1929
Lost three-span through truss bridge over the Missouri River on US 30 east of Blair
Replaced by a modern bridge

Bloomington Road (Lincoln Highway) Bridge (Linn County, Iowa)
Design, 1925
Parker through truss bridge over Big Creek on Bloomington Road, old Lincoln Highway
Demolished

Bluff Road Bridge (Woodbury County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Concrete deck girder bridge over Old Floyd Canal (Bacon Creek) on Bluff Road
Removed but not replaced

Boone Bridge (1928) (Boone County, Iowa)
Design, 1928
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Lincoln Highway
Replaced by a new bridge

Boone River Bridge (Hamilton County, Iowa)
Built 1924
Pony truss bridge over Boone River on 173rd Street
Open to traffic

Boyer River Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1940
Through truss bridge over Boyer River on 128th Trl
Open to traffic

Boyer River Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Through truss bridge over Boyer River on 155th Street
Open to traffic

Boyer River Bridge (Sac County, Iowa)
Design, 1925
Pony truss bridge over Boyer River on 290 St
Open to traffic

Branch Big Elkhorn Creek Bridge (Cedar County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Big Elkhorn Creek on 310th Street
Open to traffic

Branch Chariton River Bridge (Lucas County, Iowa)
Built 1957
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Chariton River on 220th Avenue
Open to traffic

Branch Clear Creek Bridge (Cedar County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1920
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Clear Creek on Charles Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Branch Des Moines River Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1966
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Des Moines River on Stone Avenue
Open to traffic

Branch Des Moines River Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1964
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Des Moines River on Hawk Drive
Open to traffic

Branch Des Moines River Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1971
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Des Moines River on 270th Street
Open to traffic

Branch East Nishnabotna River Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1972
Pony truss bridge over a branch of East Nishnabotna River on Lark Avenue
Open to traffic

Branch Grand River Bridge (Adair County, Iowa)
Built 1961
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Grand River on Trenton Avenue
Open to traffic

Branch Little Sioux River Bridge (Buena Vista County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Lost pony truss bridge over a branch of Little Sioux River on 60th Avenue
No longer exists

Branch Middle Fork English River Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, 1925
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Middle Fork English River on 310th Street
Open to traffic

Branch North Timber Creek Bridge (Marshall County, Iowa)
Built 1954
Through truss bridge over a branch of North Timber Creek on 260th Street
Open to traffic

Branch of Walnut Creek Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1940
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Walnut Creek on A Avenue
Intact but closed to all traffic

Branch Old Man's Creek Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, 1925
Pony truss bridge over a branch of Old Man's Creek on L Avenue (L Ave)
Open to traffic

Branch Raccoon River Bridge (Buena Vista County, Iowa)
Built 1922
Lost pony truss bridge over a branch of Raccoon River 540th Street
No longer exists

Brandon Diagonal Boulevard Bridge (Buchanan County, Iowa)
Concrete culvert bridge over Drainage on Brandon Diagonal Boulevard
Open to traffic

Bridge Creek Bridge (Keokuk County, Iowa)
Built 1962
Pony truss bridge over Bridge Creek on 230th Street
Open to traffic

Bridge Street Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Lost Truss bridge over Nishnabotna River on Bridge Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Briggs Street Bridge (Marion County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Pony truss bridge over Calhoun Creek on Briggs Street
Derelict/abandoned

Briney Street Bridge (Keokuk County, Iowa)
Built 1946
Lost pony truss bridge over Coal Creek on Briney Street in What Cheer
No longer exists

Broad Street Bridge (Mitchell County, Iowa)
Built 1920
Slab bridge over Small Natural Stream on Broad Street
Open to traffic

Brummett Bridge (1917) (Page County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Lost Warren pony truss with all verticals bridge over Nodaway River on US71
Replaced by a new bridge

Brush Creek Bridge (Wapello County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over Brush Creek on 200th Avenue
Open to traffic

Brushy Creek Bridge (Guthrie County, Iowa)
Built 1976
Through truss bridge over Brushy Creek on Kopeck Avenue
Open to traffic

Brushy Creek Bridge (Old) (Carroll County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Lost Pony/through plate girder bridge over Brushy Creek on 4th Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Brushy Fork Creek Bridge (Carroll County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Pony truss bridge over Brushy Fork Creek on Mahogany Avenue
Open to traffic

Brushy Fork Creek Bridge (Carroll County, Iowa)
Built 1951
Through truss bridge over Brushy Fork Creek on Quartz Avenue
Open to traffic

Buckeye Creek Bridge (Wapello County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1920
Lost pony truss bridge over Buckeye Creek on 100th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Buddy Holly Place Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1918
Concrete deck girder bridge over Willow Creek on Buddy Holly Place
Open to traffic

Buffalo Creek Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built 1945
Arch bridge over Buffalo Creek on C Avenue
Open to traffic

Buffalo Road Bridge (Linn County, Iowa)
Concrete culvert bridge over Drainage on Buffalo Road
Road is closed; bridge still there

Buffington Creek Bridge (Louisa County, Iowa)
Design, 1918
Culvert bridge over Buffington Creek on W Avenue
Open to traffic

Burlington Street Bridge (1915) (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Three-span arch bridge over Iowa River on North/Eastbound IA 1/Burlington Street in Iowa City
Open to traffic

Bush Branch Bridge (Adair County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Pony truss bridge over Bush Branch on Adair-Madison Avenue
Open to traffic

Butler Bridge (1932) (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1932
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Iowa River on Dubuque Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Byers Branch Field Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over Byers Branch on Field Road (Ex 140th Street)
Open to private traffic

C Avenue Beaver Creek Tributary Bridge (Boone County, Iowa)
Concrete bridge over Beaver Creek on C Ave
Open to traffic

C Avenue Bridge (Grundy County, Iowa)
Design, 1920
Lost Concrete pony/through girder bridge over Branch Beaver Creek on C Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Calhoun Creek Bridge (Monroe County, Iowa)
Warren pony truss bridge over Calhoun Creek on Dunreath Road
Inundated

Calhoun Creek Bridge (Marion County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Pony truss bridge over Calhoun Creek
Replaced by a culvert

Calhoun Creek Tributary Culvert (Monroe County, Iowa)
Concrete culvert bridge over Calhoun Creek Tributary on Dunreath Road
Inundated

Camp Creek Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over Camp Creek on 124th Street
Open to traffic

Camp Creek Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1914
Pony truss bridge over Camp Creek on Miller Drive
Open to traffic

Canal Street Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Pony truss bridge over Willow River on Canal Street in Missouri Valley
Open to traffic

Cass Street Bridge (1923) (Clayton County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Pony truss bridge over Volga River on Cass Street in Volga
Closed to all traffic

Cedar Creek Bridge (Wapello County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1930
Through truss bridge over Cedar Creek on CR H31 (Bladensburg Road)
Replaced by a new bridge

Cedar River Bridge (1936) (Floyd County, Iowa)
Designer, 1936
Haunched steel stringer bridge over Cedar River on River Road/T42, Floyd vicinity
Open to traffic

Cedar Street Bridge (Benton County, Iowa)
Beam bridge over Unnamed Tributary of Prairie Creek on Cedar Street
Open to traffic

Center Street Bridge (Marshall County, Iowa)
Built 1951
Steel stringer bridge over Iowa River on N. Center Street in Marshalltown
Open to traffic

Centerville Bridge (1922) (Boone County, Iowa)
Built 1922
Lost Camelback through truss bridge over Des Moines River on 188th Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Chariton River Bridge (Lucas County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Pony truss bridge over Chariton River on 270th Avenue
Open to traffic

Charles Avenue Bridge (Cedar County, Iowa)
Design, 1925
Pony truss bridge over West Branch Wapsinonoc Creek on Charles Avenue
Open to traffic

Chelsea Lincoln Highway Bridge (Tama County, Iowa)
Built 1928
Lost steel stringer bridge over Otter Creek on CH V18 (Original Lincoln Highway)
Replaced by new bridge

Chenelworth Bridge (Jackson County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Through truss bridge over Maquoketa River on 82nd Avenue
Open to traffic

Chequest Creek Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Built 1966
Through truss bridge over Chequest Creek on 3rd Street (3rd St)
Replaced by a new bridge

Cherry Street Bridge (Butler County, Iowa)
Designer, 1929
Arch bridge over a drainage ditch on Cherry Street in Shell Rock
Open to traffic

Chestnut Avenue Bridge (Adams County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Through truss bridge over East Nodaway River on Chestnut Avenue
Open to traffic

Chicken Creek Bridge (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Design, 1927
Warren pony truss with all verticals bridge over Chicken Creek on Saulsbury Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Chippewa Creek Bridge (Wapello County, Iowa)
Design, 1910
Slab bridge over Chippewa Creek on 42nd Avenue
Open to traffic

Clanton Creek Bridge (Madison County, Iowa)
Built 1932
Through truss bridge over Clanton Creek on CR R35 (Bevington Park Road)
Intact but closed to all traffic

Clanton Creek Tributary bridge (Madison County, Iowa)
Built 1932
Steel stringer bridge over Tributary of Clanton Creek on Bevington Park Road
Open to traffic

Clay Street Bridge (Poweshiek County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Lost Warren through truss bridge over Little Bear Creek on Clay Street
No longer exists

Clear Creek Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design
Pony truss bridge over Clear Creek on W Avenue
Open to traffic

Clear Water Creek Bridge (Floyd County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Pony truss bridge over Clear Water Creek on Zinnia Avenue
Open to traffic