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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


Otter Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Design, 1917
Concrete girder bridge over Otter Creek on 40th Street
Open to traffic

Otter Creek Bridge (Greene County, Iowa)
Design, 1924
Steel stringer bridge over a drainage ditch on CR E39 (former Lincoln Highway) in Ralston
Open to traffic

Otter Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1969
Pony truss bridge over Otter Creek on Echo Valley Road
Open to traffic

Otter Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1974
Pony truss bridge over Otter Creek on Echo Valley Road
Open to traffic

Otter Creek Bridge (Tama County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over Otter Creek on 320th Street
Open to traffic

Otter Creek Bridge (Tama County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over Otter Creek on 300th Street
Open to traffic

Otter Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Abandoned steel stringer bridge over Otter Creek on Old alignment of Echo Valley Road
Abandoned

Otter Road Pony Truss Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1966
Pony truss bridge over an unnamed creek on Otter Road
Open to traffic

Otterville Bridge (Buchanan County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Lost pony truss bridge over Otter Creek on Otterville Blvd
No longer exists

Oxley Creek Bridge (Dallas County, Iowa)
Built 1931
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Oxley Creek on State Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Paint Creek Bridge (Allamakee County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Pratt through truss bridge over Paint Creek on Brady Drive
Open to traffic

Paint Creek Bridge (Allamakee County, Iowa)
Parker through truss over Paint Creek on CR X52
Replaced by a new bridge

Painter Creek Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Design
Pony truss bridge over Painter Creek on 65th Avenue
Open to traffic

Painter Road Bridge (Mills County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over an unnamed creek on Painter Road
Open to traffic

Pammel State Park Middle River Bridge (Madison County, Iowa)
Built 1929
Lost Concrete deck girder bridge over Middle River on Pammel Park Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Park Drive Bridge (Buchanan County, Iowa)
Design
Concrete culvert bridge over Small Stream on Park Drive
Open to traffic

Perry Creek Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built 1948
Pony truss bridge over Perry Creek on 570th Street
Open to traffic

Perry Creek Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Pony truss bridge over Perry Creek on 585th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Phoenix Avenue Bridge (Carroll County, Iowa)
Built 1913
Pony truss bridge over Storm Creek on Phoenix Avenue
Open to traffic

Picayune Creek Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Steel stringer bridge over Picayune Creek on Maier Avenue
Open to traffic

Pickeral Run Bridge (Clay County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Pony truss bridge over Pickeral Run on 1st Street in Dickens
Open to traffic

Plum Creek Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Steel stringer bridge over Plum Creek on Amana Road
Open to traffic

Plum Creek Truss Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1934
Pony truss bridge over Plum Creek on CR F20 (Amana Road)
Open to traffic

Potato Creek Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1950
Pony truss bridge over Potato Creek on CR L34 (York Road)
Replaced by a new bridge

Prairie Creek Bridge (Dubuque County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over Prairie Creek on Stoffel Road
Open to traffic

Price Creek Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1940
Pony truss bridge over Price Creek on CR W20 (T Avenue)
Open to traffic

Prospect Street Bridge (Benton County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over Small Stream on Prospect Street NE
Open to traffic

Quasqueton Avenue Bridge (Buchanan County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Small Stream on Quasqueton Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Quinn Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Pony truss bridge over Quinn Creek on Eagle Road
Open to traffic

R Avenue (Rustic Road) Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Slab bridge over Unamed Creek on R Avenue
Open to traffic

Raccoon River Bridge (Buena Vista County, Iowa)
Built 1928
Lost pony truss bridge over Raccoon River on 580th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Raccoon River Bridge (Buena Vista County, Iowa)
Built 1933
Lost pony truss bridge over Raccoon River on 560th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Raccoon River Bridge (Buena Vista County, Iowa)
Built 1914
Lost pony truss bridge over Raccoon River on 600th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Raccoon River Bridge (Sac County, Iowa)
Built 1954
Lost pony truss bridge over Raccoon River on 660th Street
Removed but not replaced

Raccoon River Bridge (Buena Vista County, Iowa)
Built 1932
Lost pony truss bridge over Raccoon River on 520th Street
No longer exists

Raccoon River Bridge (Greene County, Iowa)
Built 1940
Steel stringer bridge over Raccoon River on 305 Th / E57
Open to traffic

Raccoon River Bridge (Greene County, Iowa)
Built 1937
Steel stringer bridge over Raccoon River on 283 Road
Open to traffic

Ramsey Creek Intersection Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Design
Culvert bridge over Ramsey Creek on 560th Street/Cosgrove Road
Open to traffic

Red Rock Pool Bridge (Marion County, Iowa)
Built 1920
Steel stringer bridge over Red Rock Pool on Ag And Dnr Traffic
Open to traffic

Reeds Creek Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Built 1967
Pony truss bridge over Reeds Creek on 235th Road
Open to traffic

RI - US34 Overpass (Jefferson County, Iowa)
Designer, 1945
Lost Steel stringer bridge over US 34 on former Rock Island RR
Removed

Riverside Park Drive Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1937
Arch bridge over Raccoon River on SW 1st Street in Des Moines
Open to pedestrians only

Roberts Creek Bridge (Clayton County, Iowa)
Designer, 1941
Pony truss bridge over Roberts Creek on X-28 in St. Olaf
Open to traffic

Robin Avenue Bridge (Carroll County, Iowa)
Built 1913
Lost pony truss bridge over Storm Creek on Robin Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Rochester Avenue Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1934
Steel stringer bridge over Ralston Creek on Rochester Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Rock Creek Bridge (Keokuk County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1910
Pony truss bridge over Rock Creek on CR G29 (170th Street)
Open to traffic

Rock Falls Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Design, 1929
Open-spandrel arch bridge over Shell Rock River on Spring Street in Rock Falls
Open to traffic

Rockdale Viaduct (Dubuque County, Iowa)
Design
Lost Pony/through plate girder bridge over Catfish Creek & Illinois Central Railroad on Rockdale Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Rockford Bridge (1922) (Floyd County, Iowa)
Design, 1922
Lost Two-span open-spandrel arch bridge over Shell Rock River on E. Main Avenue in Rockford
Replaced

Roosevelt Avenue Bridge (Cedar County, Iowa)
Design, 1935
Lost pony truss bridge over Mill Creek on Roosevelt Avenue
No longer exists

Rose Creek Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Pony truss bridge over Rose Creek on Spruce Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Rosebud Avenue Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1919
Steel stringer bridge over Buck Creek on Rosebud Avenue
Open to traffic

S 28th Avenue W Severs Creek Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Slab bridge over Severs Creek on S 28th Ave W
Open to traffic

Salt Creek Bridge (Tama County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Through truss bridge over Salt Creek on 315th Street
Open to traffic

Salveson Creek Bridge (Washington County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Culvert bridge over Salveson Creek/West Draingage Ditch on B Avenue
Open to traffic

School Street Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1940
Through truss bridge over Middle River on School Street
Open to traffic

Scott Avenue Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1937
Arch bridge over Des Moines River on Scott Avenue in Des Moines
Open to traffic

Searsboro Bridge (Poweshiek County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Steel stringer bridge over English Creek on 4th Street
Open to traffic

Sharon Center Road Truss Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Through truss bridge over Old Mans Creek on CR W62 (Sharon Center Road)
Replaced

Shaw Road Bridge (Jones County, Iowa)
Built 1924
Two-span through truss bridge over Wapsipinicon River on Shaw Road
Demolished

Shell Rock River Crossing (Floyd County, Iowa)
Design, 1938
Haunched deck plate girder Bridge over Shell Rock River on 180th Street
Open to traffic

Silver Creek Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Through truss bridge over Silver Creek on Dogwood Road
Open to traffic

Silver Creek Bridge (Winneshiek County, Iowa)
Built 1928
Girder bridge over Silver Creek on 236th Avenue (Old US 52)
Open to traffic

Skunk River Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Pony Truss Designer, 1876
Warren through truss bridge over Skunk River on (Vacated) 255th Street (Ken Maril Road) in Ames
Abandoned

Small Stream Culvert (Scott County, Iowa)
Design
Concrete culvert bridge over Unnamed Small Stream on Valley Drive (Old Iowa 984)
Open to traffic

Snipe Creek Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1927
Pony truss bridge over Snipe Creek on 99th Avenue
Open to traffic

Snipe Creek Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1921
Pony truss bridge over Snipe Creek on 115th Avenue
Open to traffic

Soap Creek Bridge (Lee County, Iowa)
Design, 1933
Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Soap Creek on Road
Replaced

Soap Creek Bridge (Davis County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1920
Through truss bridge over Soap Creek on Mink Blvd
Removed but not replaced

Soldier River Bridge (Crawford County, Iowa)
Built 1957
Through truss bridge over Soldier River on 110th Street
Open to traffic

South 12th Avenue East Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1921
Slab bridge over Elk Creek Tributary on South 12th Avenue East
Open to traffic

South Chariton River Bridge (Wayne County, Iowa)
Built 1918
Steel stringer bridge over South Chariton River on 80th (S16)
Open to traffic

South Duff Avenue Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Design, 1924
Concrete bridge over Ioway (Formerly Squaw) Creek on US69/South Duff Avenue
Open to traffic

South Duff Avenue Bridge (Old) (Story County, Iowa)
Design, 1919
Lost Pony/through plate girder bridge over Ioway (Formerly Squaw) Creek on South Duff Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

South Elm Street Bridge (Page County, Iowa)
Bridge over Tributary of East Nishnabotna River on South Elm Street
Open to traffic

South English River Bridge (Keokuk County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1960
Pony truss bridge over South English River on 328th Avenue
Open to traffic

South Fork Bridge (Hardin County, Iowa)
Built 1919
Pony truss bridge over South Fork on 150th Street
Open to traffic

South Fork Catfish Creek Bridge (Dubuque County, Iowa)
Design, 1926
Pony truss bridge over South Fork Catfish Creek on English MIll Road in Dubuque
Replaced by a new bridge

South Raccoon River Bridge (Guthrie County, Iowa)
Built 1959
Through truss bridge over South Raccoon River on CR F61 (310th Street)
Open to traffic

South River Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Design, 1949
Through truss bridge over South River on 85th Avenue and CSAH 57
Open to traffic

South River Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1950
Through truss bridge over South River on 120th Avenue in Indianola
Open to traffic

South River Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1940
Lost through truss bridge over South River on a local road
Replaced

South River Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Lost Through truss bridge over South River on 168th Avenue (168th Ave)
Replaced by a new bridge

South River Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1950
Lost through truss bridge over South River on CR G50 (Monroe Place)
No longer exists

South Skunk River Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1928
Pratt through truss bridge over South Skunk River on 158th Avenue (158th Ave)
Open to traffic

South Skunk River Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Design, 1929
Lost Parker through truss bridge over South Skunk River on Hwy F48 W
No longer exists

South Timber Creek Bridge (Marshall County, Iowa)
Built 1954
Pratt Through truss bridge over South Timber Creek on 260th Street
Open to traffic

South Union Street Bridge (Warren County, Iowa)
Design, 1924
Pony truss bridge on Clover Hill Drive/100th Avenue over Middle Creek
Open

South White Breast Creek Bridge (Clarke County, Iowa)
Built 1939
Bridge over South White Breast Creek on R69


South Willow Creek Bridge (Monona County, Iowa)
Design, 1973
Pony truss bridge over South Willow Creek on Teak Avenue
Open to traffic

Spencer Creek Bridge (Scott County, Iowa)
Built 1913
Steel stringer bridge over Spencer Creek on Valley Drive (Old Iowa 984)
Replaced by a new bridge

Spring Creek Bridge (Wapello County, Iowa)
Design, 1920
Steel stringer bridge over Spring Creek on 180th Street
Open to traffic

Springville Public Drive Bridge (Linn County, Iowa)
Concrete culverte bridge over Drainage on Public Drive
Open to traffic

St. Johns Road Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Design, 1900
Arch bridge over an unnamed creek on St. Johns Road in Des Moines
Open to traffic

Standing Rock Road Bridge (Linn County, Iowa)
Built 1914
Lost Pony truss bridge over Spring Creek on Standing Rock Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Stange Road Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Designer, 1915
Lost Concrete deck girder bridge over Ioway (Formerly Squaw) Creek on Stange Road
Replaced by new bridge

State Street Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Steel stringer bridge over Squaw Creek on Highway F-48 W
Open to traffic

Stewart Avenue Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Design, 1914
Closed spandrel arch bridge over Winnebago River on North Carolina Avenue in Mason City
Open to traffic

Stoney Creek 300th Street Bridge (Clay County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1940
Lost pony truss bridge over Stoney Creek on 300th Street
No longer exists

Stony Creek Bridge (Poweshiek County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Steel stringer bridge over Stony Creek on 165th Street
Open to traffic