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Iowa State Highway Commission

of Ames, Iowa
View Exhibit map

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


Hanley Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design of 1953 T3 & TT5 spans
Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Jester Park Drive
Removed

Harrison Monona Ditch Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Through truss bridge over Harrison Monona Ditch on 340th Street
Damaged by flooding in 2011 and removed

Hawkeye Highway Branch South Fork Catfish Creek Bridge (Dubuque County, Iowa)
Design
Lost Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Branch of South Fork Catfish Creek on Hawkeye Highway
Replaced by a new bridge

Hawkeye Highway Center Grove Viaduct (Dubuque County, Iowa)
Design, 1915
Lost Pony/through plate girder bridge over Catfish Creek &Railroad (IC) on Hawkeye Highway
Replaced by a new bridge in 1985

Hawkeye-Dolbee Channel Bridge (Des Moines County, Iowa)
Built 1953
Through truss bridge over Hawkeye Dolbee Channel on 40th Avenue
Open to traffic

Hayward Avenue College Creek Culvert (Story County, Iowa)
Original Design, 1910
Concrete culvert bridge over College Creek on Hayward Avenue
Open to traffic

Herring Viaduct (Webster County, Iowa)
Design, 1935
Cantilevered deck truss bridge over Des Moines River and B Avenue on Kenyon Road in Ft. Dodge
Open to traffic

Herrold Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Designer, 1921
Concrete deck girder bridge over Beaver Creek
Closed to all traffic

Hickory Avenue Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Steel stringer bridge over Calmus Creek on Hickory Avenue
Open to traffic

Hickory Creek Bridge (Marion County, Iowa)
Built 1948
Lost Pony truss bridge over Hickory Creek on 140th Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Hickory Creek Pony Truss (Scott County, Iowa)
Built 1983
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Hickory Creek on 92nd Avenue/241st Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Hickory Creek Private Bridge (Scott County, Iowa)
Built 1993
Warren pony truss bridge over Hickory Creek on Private Path
Open to authorized vehicles only

Hickory Grove Road Arch Bridge (Scott County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Lost Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Duck Creek on Hickory Grove Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Hockeys Slough Bridge (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Designer, 1937
Concrete Rigid Frame bridge over Hockeys Slough on Bancroft Avenue
Open to traffic

Hog's Back Bridge (Winneshiek County, Iowa)
Design, 1963
Arch bridge over Dry Run Creek on US 52 in Decorah
Open to traffic

Holcim Company Road Overpass (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1948
Concrete rigid frame bridge over US 65 on Company Road
Open to private traffic

Honey Creek Bridge (Hardin County, Iowa)
Built 1919
Stringer bridge over Honey Creek on Local
Open to traffic

Honey Creek Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1920
Pony truss bridge over Honey Creek on 125th Street
Open to traffic

Honey Creek Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, 1927
Pony truss bridge over Honey Creek on 140th Street
Open to traffic

Hopkinton Mill Truss Bridge (Delaware County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Lost through truss bridge over Maquoketa River on Marion Street
No longer exists

Horseshoe Road Bridge (Clayton County, Iowa)
Built 1939
Through truss bridge over Elk Creek on Horseshoe Road
Open to traffic

Hubbell Avenue Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Lost Concrete tee beam bridge over Fourmile Creek on Hubbell Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

IA1 English River Deck Truss (Washington County, Iowa)
Built 1922
Lost Deck truss bridge over English River on IA 1
Replaced by a new bridge

IA1 Jordan Creek Arch Culvert (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1941
Arch bridge over a drainage ditch on IA 1 in Solon
Open

IA1 Ralston Creek Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1932
Steel stringer bridge over Ralston Creek on IA 1/Burlington Street
Open to traffic

IA103 Pitman Creek Bridge (Lee County, Iowa)
Design, 1931
Lost closed-spandrel arch bridge over Pitman Creek on IA 103
Replaced by a new bridge

IA11 Culvert (Johnson County, Iowa)
Concrete culvert bridge on IA 11


IA118 Pine Lake Dam Bridge (Hardin County, Iowa)
Built 1922
Concrete slab bridge over Pine Lake Outlet (Pine Creek) on IA 118
Replaced by a new bridge

IA122 Cheslea Creek Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Lost Concrete tee beam bridge over Cheslea Creek on IA 122
Replaced by a new bridge

IA13 Wapsipinicon River Bridge (Linn County, Iowa)
Design, 1929
Lost Warren through truss with all verticals bridge over Wapsipinicon River on Marion Road
Replaced by a new bridge upstream

IA136 Overpass (Clinton County, Iowa)
Lost Steel arch bridge over Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad on IA 136
Replaced by a new bridge

IA137 Eddyville Bridge (Wapello County, Iowa)
Design, 1952
Lost Haunched deck plate girder bridge over Des Moines River on IA 137
Replaced by a new bridge

IA14 Overpass (Butler County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Slab bridge over Iowa Northern Railway on IA 14
Open to traffic

IA141 North Raccoon River Bridge (Old) (Dallas County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Lost Parker through truss bridge over North Raccoon River on IA 141
Replaced by a new bridge

IA149 South English River Bridge (Keokuk County, Iowa)
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over South English River on IA 149
Replaced by a new bridge

IA15 McKnights Point Bridge (Humboldt County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Steel stringer bridge over West Fork Des Moines River on IA 15
Open to traffic

IA150 Cedar River Bridge (Benton County, Iowa)
Design, 1935
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Cedar River on IA 150
Replaced by a new bridge

IA150 Wapsipinicon River Bridge (Buchanan County, Iowa)
Design, 1927
Four-span concrete arch bridge over the Wapsipinicon River on IA 150 in Independence
Open to traffic

IA164 Turkey Creek Bridge (Boone County, Iowa)
Abandoned concrete culvert bridge over Turkery Creek on Abandoned IA164/Moingona Road
Abandoned

IA17 Boone River Bridge (Old) (Hamilton County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Boone River on IA 17
Replaced by a new bridge

IA175 Beaver Creek Bridge (Hardin County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Concrete deck girder bridge over Beaver Creek on IA 175
Replaced by a new bridge

IA175 Des Moines River Bridge (Webster County, Iowa)
Design, 1948
Haunched deck plate girder bridge over Des Moines River on IA 175
Open to traffic

IA175 Eldora Viaduct (Hardin County, Iowa)
Built 1913
Deck plate girder bridge over Iowa River on IA 175
Replaced by a new bridge

IA175 Lake View Arch Overpass (Sac County, Iowa)
Built 1934
Culvert bridge over High Street on Ia 175
Open to traffic

IA175 Mapleton Bridge (N; Old) (Monona County, Iowa)
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Maple River on IA 175/IA 141
Replaced by a new bridge

IA175 Skunk River Bridge (Older) (Hamilton County, Iowa)
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Skunk River on IA175
Replaced by a new bridge

IA175 South Skunk River Bridge (Old) (Hamilton County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Lost closed-spandrel arch bridge over South Skunk River on IA 175
Replaced by a new bridge

IA188 Shell Rock River Bridge (Butler County, Iowa)
Built 1933
Lost through truss bridge over Shell Rock River on IA 188
Replaced by new bridge

IA2 Des Moines River Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1948
Lost Haunched deck plate girder bridge over Des Moines River on IA 2
Replaced by a new bridge

IA2 Rock Creek Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1925
Concrete arch bridge over Rock Creek on IA 2
Open to traffic

IA210 Indian Creek Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Built 1955
Through truss bridge over Indian Creek on IA 210
Replaced by a new bridge

IA22 Bulgers Run Bridge (Washington County, Iowa)
Built 1934
Steel stringer bridge over Bulgers Run on Ia 22
Open to traffic

IA22 Cedar River Bridge (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Design, 1941
Lost Camelback through truss bridge over Cedar River on IA 22
Replaced by a new bridge

IA22 English River Bridge (Old) (Washington County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Lost Steel stringer bridge over English River on Ia 22
Replaced by a new bridge

IA22 English River Overflow Bridge (Old) (Washington County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Lost Steel stringer bridge over English River Overflow on Ia 22
Replaced by a new bridge

IA22 Pike Run Bridge (Old) (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Design, 1940
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Pike Run on IA 22
Replaced by a new bridge

IA22 Wapsinonoc Creek Bridge (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Lost through truss bridge over Wapsinonoc Creek on IA22
Replaced by a new bridge

IA24 Turkey River Overflow Bridge (Winneshiek County, Iowa)
Built 1933
Steel stringer bridge over Turkey River Overflow on Ia 24 in Jackson Junction
Replaced by a new bridge

IA28 Drainage Ditch Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Steel stringer bridge over Drainage Ditch on Ia 28
Open to traffic

IA3 West Fork Des Moines River Bridge (Humboldt County, Iowa)
Designer, 1939
Plate girder bridge over West Fork Des Moines River on Iowa Highway 3
Replaced by a modern bridge

IA31 Little Sioux River Deck Truss (Woodbury County, Iowa)
Built 1924
Lost Warren deck truss bridge over Little Sioux River on IA31
Replaced by a new bridge

IA316 Des Moines River Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1968
Steel stringer bridge over Des Moines River on IA Hwy. 316/ CSAH S35
Open to traffic

IA346 Cedar River Bridge (Chickasaw County, Iowa)
Designer, 1921
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Cedar River on IA 346
Replaced by a new bridge

IA38 Plum Creek Bridge (Delaware County, Iowa)
Built 1928
Lost through truss bridge over Plum Creek on IA 38
Replaced by new bridge

IA394 Skunk River Bridge (Des Moines County, Iowa)
Design, 1934
Lost through truss bridge over Skunk River on IA 394 (Augusta Main Road)
Replaced by a new bridge

IA44 Middle Raccoon River Bridge (Guthrie County, Iowa)
Lost Concrete deck girder bridge over Middle Raccoon River on IA 44/Panora Speedway
Replaced by a new bridge

IA46 Des Moines River Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1938
Lost Warren through truss bridge over Des Moines River on IA46
Removed

IA48 Red Oak Creek Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Design, 1918
Steel stringer bridge over Red Oak Creek on Ia 48
Open to traffic

IA48 Small Stream Culvert (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Design, 1931
Culvert bridge over Small Stream on IA 48
Open to traffic

IA5 Shoal Creek Bridge (Appanoose County, Iowa)
Built 1948
Steel rigid frame bridge over Shoal Creek on Ia 5
Open to traffic

IA5 South River Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Built 1928
Lost through truss bridge over South River on Elk Horn Street
Removed after the bridge collapsed in 2012

IA57 Overpass (Hardin County, Iowa)
Designer, 1932
Deck plate girder bridge over Illinois Central Railroad on IA57 / Old US 20 in Ackley
Replaced by a new bridge

IA7 Overpass (Pocahontas County, Iowa)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Illinois Central Railroad on IA 7


IA70 Iowa River Bridge (Louisa County, Iowa)
Design, 1932
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Iowa River on IA 70
Replaced by a new bridge

IA77 Skunk River Bridge (Keokuk County, Iowa)
Built 1931
Lost two-span through truss bridge over Skunk River on IA 77 (330th Avenue)
No longer exists

IA9 Des Moines River Bridge (Old) (Emmet County, Iowa)
Design, 1915
Lost Concrete deck girder bridge over Des Moines River on IA 9
Replaced by a new bridge

IA9 Dry Run Bridge #3 (Winneshiek County, Iowa)
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Dry Run on IA 9
Removed

IA9 Wapsipinicon River Bridge (Pre 1979) (Mitchell County, Iowa)
Lost Bridge over Wapsipinicon River on IA 9
Replaced by a new bridge

IA90 Booneville Bridge (Dallas County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Lost Polygonal Warren through truss bridge over North Raccoon River on IA 90
Replaced by a new bridge

IA92 Columbus Junction Viaduct (Louisa County, Iowa)
Design, 1935
Lost Steel stringer bridge over IA70 on IA92
Replaced by a new bridge

IA92 Des Moines River Bridge (Old) (Mahaska County, Iowa)
Built 1930
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Old Hwy. 92
No longer exists

IA92 Iowa River Bridge (Old) (Louisa County, Iowa)
Design, 1937
Lost Warren through truss bridge over Iowa River on IA92
Replaced by a new bridge

IA92 North Skunk River Bridge (Old) (Mahaska County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Lost Through truss bridge over North Skunk River on IA 92
Replaced by a new bridge

IA92 South Skunk River Bridge (Old) (Mahaska County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Lost Through truss bridge over South Skunk River on IA 92
Replaced by a new bridge

IA939 Wapsipinicon River Bridge (1917) (Buchanan County, Iowa)
Design, 1917
Arch bridge over Wapsipinicon River on 1st Street W in Independence
Open to traffic

IA965 Iowa River Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1956
Girder bridge over Iowa River on IA 965
Open to traffic

IAIS - Wisconsin Avenue Overpass (Scott County, Iowa)
Design, 1937
Steel stringer bridge over Wisconsin Avenue on Iowa Interstate Railroad
Open to traffic

IANR - Idaho Street Overpass (Black Hawk County, Iowa)
Design, 1940
Steel stringer bridge over Idaho Street on Railroad (IANR)
Open to traffic

Ideal Creek Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1911
Slab bridge over Ideal Creek on 290th
Open to traffic

Illinois Avenue Bridge (Buchanan County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over Drainage on Illinois Avenue
Open to traffic

Indian Creek Bridge (Shelby County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1920
Through truss bridge over Indian Creek on 700th Street
Removed but not replaced

Indian Creek Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Design, 1918
Pony truss bridge over Indian Creek on Eagle Street
Open to traffic

Indian Creek Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Built 1971
Pony truss bridge over Indian Creek on 160 Street
Open to traffic

Indian Creek bridge (Humboldt County, Iowa)
Built 1930s
Beam bridge over Indian Creek on Kansas Avenue
Replaced

Indian Creek Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1916
Through truss bridge over Indian Creek on NE 162nd Avenue
Open to traffic

Indian Creek Bridge (Shelby County, Iowa)
Design, 1926
Through truss bridge over Indian Creek on 200th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

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

Indiana Avenue Bridge (Lyon County, Iowa)
Design, 1940
Concrete pony/through girder bridge over Rio Grande Creek on W Indiana Avenue in George
Open to traffic

Indiana Avenue Bridge (Scott County, Iowa)
Built 1946
Slab bridge over Spencer Creek Trib on Indiana Avenue
Open to traffic

Ion Bridge (Allamakee County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1920
Lost through truss bridge over Branch Yellow River on Ion Road
No longer exists