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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


CN - US63 Overpass (Black Hawk County, Iowa)
Built 1963
Lost Steel stringer bridge over US 63 on Canadian National Railway
Filled in

Coal Bank Hill Bridge (1919) (Hardin County, Iowa)
Designer, 1919
Parker through truss bridge over Iowa River on Abandoned Road
Privately Owned

Coal Valley Bridge #1 (Boone County, Iowa)
Concrete culvert bridge over Noah Creek on Coal Valley Road
Abandoned

Coal Valley Bridge #2 (Boone County, Iowa)
Concrete deck girder over Coal Valley Creek on Road
Open to traffic(?)

Cold Water Creek Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1922
Pony truss bridge over Cold Water Creek on Warbler Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Cold Water Creek Bridge (Winneshiek County, Iowa)
Built 1962
Pony truss bridge over Cold Water Creek on Cold Water Creek Road
Open to traffic

College Drive Bridge (Winneshiek County, Iowa)
Built 1931
Concrete stringer bridge over Drainage Ditch on College Drive
Open to traffic

Congress Street Bridge (Floyd County, Iowa)
Built 1955
Steel stringer bridge over Shell Rock River on Congress Street in Nora Springs
Open to traffic

Cooper Creek Bridge (Appanoose County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Through truss bridge over Cooper Creek on St. Joseph Drive in Centerville
Replaced by a new bridge

Copi Avenue Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Lost Pony truss bridge over Clear Creek on Copi Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Coulee Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Culvert bridge over Coulee Creek on C14
Open to traffic

Cox Creek Farm Driveway Bridge (Clayton County, Iowa)
Pony truss bridge over Cox Creek at farm entrance road off Emblem Road
Open to traffic

Crabapple Creek Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over Crabapple Creek on 210 Street
Open to traffic

Crane Avenue Bridge (Hancock County, Iowa)
Design, 1925
Concrete pony/through girder bridge over Boone River on 1870 Crane Avenue
Open to traffic

Crooked Creek Bridge (Cedar County, Iowa)
Design, 1923
Concrete arch bridge over Crooked Creek on 290th Street (County F44)
Open to traffic

Curtis Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Design, 1927
Lost Pratt through truss over Iowa River on Old US218
Replaced by a new bridge

Damon Bridge (Jackson County, Iowa)
Built 1956
Through truss bridge over Maquoketa River on 435th Avenue (CR Z34)
Open to traffic

Davids Creek Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1970
Pony truss bridge over Davids Creek on Nighthawk Avenue
Open to traffic

Davids Creek Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1964
Pony truss bridge over Davids Creek on 250th Street
Open to traffic

Davison Bridge (Jackson County, Iowa)
Through truss bridge over Maquoketa River on 212th Avenue
Open to traffic

Deep River Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, 1962
Pony truss bridge over Deep River on Poweshiek-Iowa Road
Open to traffic

Deer Creek Bridge (Mitchell County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1950
Pony truss bridge over Deer Creek on 440th Street
Open to traffic

Deer Creek Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1914
Arch bridge over Deer Creek on 38th Street
Open to traffic

Des Moines River Bridge (Humboldt County, Iowa)
Built 1913
Lost Warren pony truss with all verticals bridge over Des Moines River on Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Des Moines River Bridge (Wapello County, Iowa)
Design, 1951
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Des Moines River on Elm Street
Replaced by a new bridge

DeVoite Drive Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1958
Pony truss bridge over Camp Creek on de Voite Drive (de Voite Dr)
Open

Dibble Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Lost Concrete arch bridge over Dibble Creek on Stone Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Ditch #70 Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1913
Slab bridge over Ditch #70 on 130th
Open to traffic

Division Creek Bridge (Jones County, Iowa)
Built 1900
Concrete deck girder bridge over Division Creek on 1st St Se
Open to traffic

DME - 2nd Avenue Overpass (Washington County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Steel stringer bridge over 2nd Avenue on Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad
Open to traffic

Doon Pony Truss (Lyon County, Iowa)
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Rock River on Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Dougherty Bridge (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Built 1966
Steel stringer bridge over Cedar River on F70/155th Street
Open to traffic

Drainage Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design
Concrete culvert bridge over Drainage on 1st Street
Open to traffic

Drainage Ditch Bridge (Marshall County, Iowa)
Culvert bridge over Drainage ditch on W State Street
Open to traffic

Drainage Ditch Bridge (Madison County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Warren pony truss bridge over a drainage ditch on Valleyview Avenue
Open to traffic

Drainage Ditch No. 114 Bridge (Hamilton County, Iowa)
Built 1922
Arch bridge over Drainage Ditch No. 114 on US 69
Unknown status

Driveway Bridge (Delaware County, Iowa)
Built 1907
Concrete deck girder bridge over Small Stream on Driveway (former 140th Avenue)
Replaced by a new bridge

Drumlin Road Bridge (Clayton County, Iowa)
Built 1914
Concrete deck girder bridge over Schneiders Creek on Drumlin Road
Open to traffic

Dry Run Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Design
Culvert bridge over Dry Run Creek on 2nd Ave Sw
Open to traffic

Dry Run Creek Bridge (1917) (Black Hawk County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Stringer bridge over Dry Run Creek on Waterloo Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Dubuque Street NE Culvert #1 (Johnson County, Iowa)
Design, 1913
Concrete culvert bridge over Unnamed Stream on Dubuque Street NE
Open to traffic

Dubuque Street NE Culvert #2 (Johnson County, Iowa)
Design, 1913
Concrete culvert bridge over Unnamed Stream on Dubuque Street NE
Open to traffic

Eagle Street Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1924
Steel stringer bridge over Byers Branch on Eagle Street
Open to traffic

East 14th Street Viaduct (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1937
Steel stringer bridge over Railroad Yard on East 14th Street
Open to traffic

East Boyer River Bridge (Crawford County, Iowa)
Design, 1927
Concrete arch bridge over East Boyer River on Main Street
Open to traffic

East Branch West Nishnabotna River Bridge (Shelby County, Iowa)
Built 1941
Through truss bridge over East Branch of West Nishnabotna River on 450th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

East Branch West Nishnabotna River Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1967
Pony truss bridge over a stream Feeding East Branch West Nishnabotna River on a local road
Open to traffic

East Branch West Nishnabotna River Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1924
Pony truss bridge over East Branch West Nishnabotna River on Yellowwood Road
Now a private farm field access

East Branch West Nishnabotna River Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1939
Lost pony truss bridge over East Branch West Nishnabotna River on 185th Street (perhaps.)
Removed but not replaced

East Branch West Nishnabotna River Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1924
Lost pony truss bridge over East Branch West Nishnabotna River on Dove Avenue
No longer exists

East Nishnabotna River Bridge (Shelby County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1920
Pony truss bridge over East Nishnabotna River on 1650th Street
Open to traffic

East Nishnabotna River Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1971
Pony truss bridge over E Nishnabotna River on 110th Street
Open to traffic

East Nishnabotna River Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1940
Pony truss bridge over E Nishnabotna River on Kingbird Avenue
Open to traffic

East Nishnabotna River Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1924
Pony truss bridge over East Nishnabotna River on 220th Street
Open to traffic

East Nishnabotna River Bridge (140th Street) (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1971
Pony truss bridge over East Nishnabotna River on 140th Street
Open to traffic

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

Eldora Road Bridge (Black Hawk County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Steel stringer bridge over Unnamed Stream on Eldora Road
Open to traffic

Elkhorn Creek Bridge (Shelby County, Iowa)
Design, 1958
Through truss bridge over Elkhorn Creek on 500th Street
Open to traffic

Elm Creek Bridge (Shelby County, Iowa)
Design, 1926
Through truss bridge over Elm Creek on Redwood Road
Open to traffic

Elm Street Bridge (Jones County, Iowa)
Design, 1928
Lost Deck Plate Girder Bridge over Wapsipinicon River on Elm Street/CH E34
Replaced by a new bridge

Ely Road Bridge (Linn County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over Unknown Stream on Ely Road SW
Open to traffic

English Creek Bridge (Marion County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Pony truss bridge over English Creek on 130th Place
Open to traffic

English Creek Bridge (Marion County, Iowa)
Built 1953
Pony truss bridge over English Creek on Story Drive
Replaced by a new bridge

Euclid Avenue Des Moines River Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1933
Haunched steel stringer bridge over Des Moines River on US 6
Open to traffic

Euclid Avenue Fourmile Creek Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1934
Steel stringer bridge over Fourmile Creek on US 6
Removed and replaced

Eureka Bridge (Greene County, Iowa)
Design, 1912
Arch bridge over Raccoon River on a local road
Open to traffic

Fiddle Creek Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Pony truss bridge over Fiddle Creek on 580th Street
Open to traffic

Fiddle Creek Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Pony truss bridge over Fiddle Creek on B Avenue
Open to traffic

Field Entrance Bridge (Jones County, Iowa)
Built 1900
Pony truss bridge over Sybil Creek on a Former alignment of IA 38
Open to traffic.

Fleur Drive Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Haunched deck plate girder bridge over Raccoon River & Railroad on Fleur Drive
Open to traffic

Fleur Drive Overpass (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Steel stringer bridge over SW 22nd Street on Fleur Drive
Open to traffic

Flint River Bridge (Des Moines County, Iowa)
Built 1955
Lost through truss bridge over Flint River on Irish Ridge Road
No longer exists

Flood Creek Bridge (Floyd County, Iowa)
Pony truss bridge over Flood Creek on Holly Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Four Mile Creek Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1914
Slab bridge over Four Mile Creek on NE 134th Avenue
Open to traffic

Fourmile Creek Tributary Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over Fourmile Creek Tributary on NE 126th Ave
Open to traffic

Fox Trail Bridge (Madison County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Through truss bridge over Middle River on CR G47 (Fox Trail)
Open to traffic

Fraser Bridge (1916) (Boone County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Lost Through truss bridge over Des Moines River on K Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge (Scott County, Iowa)
Design, 1966
Haunched deck plate girder bridge over Mississippi River on I-80 in Le Claire
Open to traffic

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

Frink Creek Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1937
Steel stringer bridge over Frink Creek on SW Mckinley Avenue
Open to pedestrians only

Froelich Culvert (Clayton County, Iowa)
Design
Concrete culvert bridge over Unnamed Drainage Ditch on Froelich Road
Open to traffic

Gedney Lake Bridge (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Design, 1930
Pratt through truss bridge over Gedney Lake on Former alignment of 231st Street
Open to Pedestrians

Gehrkie Quarries Bridge (Hardin County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over a Natural Stream on Gehrkie Quarries Private Road (Old Road Alignment?)
Open to private traffic

Gilbert Street Bridge (Floyd County, Iowa)
Built 1914
Concrete arch bridge over Shermans Creek on Gilbert Street in Charles City
Open

Gillett Grove Bridge (Clay County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Stringer bridge over Elk Creek on 280th Avenue
Open to traffic

Goldfield Bridge (Wright County, Iowa)
Design, 1922
Lost concrete cantilevered deck girder bridge over Boone River on Oak Street in Goldfield
No longer exists

Goldfinch Avenue Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1933
Steel stringer bridge over Unnamed creek on Goldfinch Avenue
Derelict/abandoned

Grand Avenue Walnut Creek Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1914
Arch bridge over Walnut Creek on Grand Avenue in Des Moines
Replaced

Grand River Bridge (Adair County, Iowa)
Design, 1939
Through truss bridge over Grand River on 250th Street
Open to traffic

Grant Avenue Bridge (Lyon County, Iowa)
Abandoned pratt through truss bridge over Rock River on Grant Avenue
Abandoned

Grant Street South Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1918
Slab bridge over Unnamed creek on IA 945
Open to traffic

Graybill Creek Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Design, 1951
Through truss bridge over Graybill Creek on Boston Avenue
Open to traffic

Green Road Bridge (Cedar County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1920
Pony truss bridge over Rock Run Creek on Green Road
Open to traffic

Green Valley Road Bridge (Allamakee County, Iowa)
Built 1920
Beam bridge over Village Creek on Green Valley Road


Greencastle Avenue Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1922
Through truss bridge over Iowa River on Greencastle Avenue
Abandoned

Grey Creek Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1920
Pony truss bridge over Grey Creek on 470th Street
Open to traffic

Grey Creek Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Pony truss bridge over Grey Creek on 460th Street
Open to traffic

Gypsum Mine Holiday Creek Bridge (Webster County, Iowa)
Design
Concrete culvert bridge over Holiday Creek on Private Road
Open to private traffic

H Avenue Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1920
Pony truss bridge over Little Bear Creek on H Avenue
Closed to all traffic

Hamilton-Story Open Drainage Ditch 1 Culvert (Story County, Iowa)
Design, 1914
Culvert bridge over Hamilton-Story Open Drainage Ditch 1 on 550th Avenue
Open to traffic