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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


Storm Creek Bridge (Carroll County, Iowa)
Designer, 1913
Lost pony truss bridge over Storm Creek on 190th
Replaced by a new bridge

Stowe Creek Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1940
Pony truss bridge over Stowe Creek on 340th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

Stump Creek Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1916
Pony truss bridge over a Stump Creek on 120th Street
Open to traffic

Stump Creek Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1967
Pony truss bridge over Stump Creek on CR J12 (118th Road)
Open to traffic

Sugar Creek Bridge (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Design, 1931
Lost through truss bridge over Sugar Creek on a local road
Replaced by a new bridge

Sugar Creek Bridge (Poweshiek County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Steel stringer bridge over Sugar Creek on 455th Avenue
Open to traffic

Summer Creek Bridge (Van Buren County, Iowa)
Design, 1971
Pony truss bridge over Summer Creek on Timber Road
Open to traffic

Sumner Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Design, 1917
Tee beam bridge over Little Wapsipinicon River on 160th Street in Sumner
Open to traffic

Tarkio River Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Built 1949
Through truss bridge over Tarkio River on CR H46 (250 Street)
Open to traffic

Taylor Avenue Bridge (Cedar County, Iowa)
Design, ca. 1920
Lost Pony truss bridge over Bennett Creek on Taylor Avenue
Replaced by a concrete slab

Tete De Morts Creek Bridge (Jackson County, Iowa)
Built 1982
Pony truss bridge over Tete De Morts Creek on 296th Avenue
Open to traffic

Third Street Bridge (Lyon County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1940
Warren pony truss bridge over Mudd Creek on Third Street in Alvord
Derelict/abandoned

Thomas Street Bridge (Adair County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1940
Pony truss bridge over Middle River on Thomas Street in Casey
Open to traffic

Tributary of North Skunk River (Marshall County, Iowa)
Concrete Slab bridge on 285th Street
Open to traffic

Troublesome Creek Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1929
Pony truss bridge over Troublesome Creek on 305th Street
Open to traffic

Troublesome Creek Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Pony truss bridge over Troublesome Creek on Quail Avenue
Open to traffic

Troublesome Creek Bridge (Audubon County, Iowa)
Built 1959
Pony truss bridge over Troublesome Creek on 310th Street
Open to traffic

Turkey Creek Bridge (Cass County, Iowa)
Design
Pony truss bridge over Turkey Creek on Keystone Lane (dead end)
Open to traffic

Turkey River Bridge (Clayton County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Lost Parker through truss truss bridge over Turkey River on Laredo Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Twelve Mile Creek Bridge (Union County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over Twelve Mile Creek on CR H45 (250th Street)
Open to traffic

University Avenue Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1920
Open-spandrel arch bridge over Des Moines River on University Avenue in Des Moines
Open to traffic

Unnamed Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Girder bridge over Unnamed Creek on 250th Street
Open to traffic

Unnamed Creek Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1929
Warren Pony truss bridge with all verticals over an unnamed creek on Willow Road (Willow Rd)
Open to traffic

Unnamed Creek Bridge (Marion County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Lost Pony truss bridge over an unnamed creek on Erbe Street
Demolished

Unnamed Stream Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Built 1925
Timber stringer bridge over Unnamed Stream on Swan Lake Road NW
Closed to all traffic

US 6 Adel Bridge (1932) (Dallas County, Iowa)
Built 1932
Lost Warren through truss bridge over North Raccoon River on US 6
Replaced by a new bridge

US 6 Atalissa Viaduct (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Lost Pony/through plate girder bridge over Iowa Interstate Railroad on US 6
Removed but not replaced

US 6 Cedar River Bridge (Old) (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Design, 1930
Lost Warren through truss bridge over Cedar River on US 6
Replaced by a new bridge

US 6 Marble Creek Bridge (Iowa County, Iowa)
Design, 1955
Culvert bridge over Marble Creek on US 6
Open to traffic

US 6 Middle River Bridge (Old) (Guthrie County, Iowa)
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Middle River on US 6
Destroyed by flooding

US 6 Pheasant Creek Bridge (Scott County, Iowa)
Design, 1936
Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Pheasant Creek on US 6
Open to traffic

US 6 Silver Creek Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Built 1961
Steel stringer bridge over Silver Creek on US 6
Open to traffic

US 6 West Liberty Viaduct (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Design
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Rock Island Railroad on US 6
Removed but not replaced

US 6 West Wapsinonoc Creek Bridge (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Design, 1956
Girder bridge over West Wapsinonoc Creek on US 6
Replaced by a new bridge

US 67 Duck Creek Arch Bridge (Scott County, Iowa)
Built 1921
Lost concrete arch bridge over Duck Creek on US 67
Replaced by new bridge

US151 Monticello Bridge (Old) (Jones County, Iowa)
Design, 1928
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Maquoketa River on US 151/161
Replaced by a new bridge

US151 Whitewater Creek Bridge (Old) (Dubuque County, Iowa)
Built 1929
Lost Camelback through truss bridge over Whitewater Creek on US 151
Replaced by a new bridge

US169 East Fork Des Moines River Bridge (S) (Kossuth County, Iowa)
Design, 1936
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Des Moines River on US 169
Replaced by a new bridge

US169 Millrace Bridge (Humboldt County, Iowa)
Steel stringer bridge over Millrace on US169


US169 Raccoon River Bridge (Dallas County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Lost Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Raccoon River on US 169
Replaced by a new bridge

US169 Slough Creek Tributary Arch (Dallas County, Iowa)
Lost Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Tributary of Slough Creek on US 168
Replaced by a new bridge

US18 Big Sioux River Bridge (Old) (Lyon County, Iowa)
Design, 1927
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Big Sioux River on US 18
Replaced by a new bridge

US18 Rock Valley Bridge (Old) (Sioux County, Iowa)
Built 1935
Stringer bridge over Rock River on US 18
Replaced by a new bridge

US18BUS Flood Creek Tributary Bridge (Floyd County, Iowa)
Built 1919
Slab bridge over Flood Creek Tributary on US 18 Business
Open to traffic

US20 Raccoon River Bridge (Sac County, Iowa)
Built 1937
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Raccoon River on US 20/Main Street
Replaced by a new bridge

US218 Drainage Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Lost Steel stringer bridge on US 218 over Drainage (?)
Collapsed

US218 McAllister Creek Bridge (Johnson County, Iowa)
Abandoned concrete deck girder bridge over McAlllister Creek on Old US218
Inundated

US30 Boyer River Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Design, 1952
Concrete tee beam bridge over Boyer River on US 30
Open to traffic

US30 Boyer River Bridge (Old) (Harrison County, Iowa)
Design, 1917
Concrete deck girder bridge over Boyer River on US 30


US34 Skunk River Bridge (Old) (Henry County, Iowa)
Design, 1925
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Skunk River on a local road
Replaced by a new bridge

US34 West Nishnabotna River Truss (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Warren through truss bridge over West Nishnabotna River on US 34
Replaced by a new bridge

US59 Little Sioux River Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Lost Pony/through plate girder bridge over Little Sioux River on US 59
Replaced by a new bridge

US59 Mill Creek High Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Lost Warren deck truss bridge over Mill Creek on US 59
Replaced by a new bridge

US6 Wapsinonoc Creek Bridge (Muscatine County, Iowa)
Design, 1920
Slab bridge over Wapsinonoc Creek on US 6
Open to traffic

US61 Des Moines River Bridge (Old) (Lee County, Iowa)
Design, 1934
Lost Parker through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Road
Replaced by a new bridge

US61 Farmers Creek Bridge (Jackson County, Iowa)
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Farmers Creek on US 61
Replaced by a new bridge

US61 Skunk River Bridge (Old) (Lee County, Iowa)
Built 1928
Lost Through truss bridge over Skunk River on US 61
Replaced by a new bridge

US61 Wapsi River Overflow Bridge (Old) (Scott County, Iowa)
Design, 1922
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Wapsipinicon River on US 61
Replaced by a new bridge

US61 Wapsipinicon River Bridge (Old) (Scott County, Iowa)
Design, 1922
Lost Through truss bridge over Wapsipinicon River on US 61
Replaced by a new bridge

US61B South Fork Maquoketa River Bridge (Old) (Jackson County, Iowa)
Design, 1929
Lost Through truss bridge over South Fork Maquoketa River on US61 Business
Replaced by a new bridge

US63 Iowa River Bridge (Old) (Tama County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Iowa River on US63
Replaced by a new bridge

US65 Winnebago River Bridge (Cerro Gordo County, Iowa)
Built 1926
Concrete deck girder bridge over Winnebago River on southbound US 65
Open to traffic

US65/US69 North River Bridge (Old) (Warren County, Iowa)
Lost Parker through truss bridge over North River on US 65
Replaced by a new bridge

US69 Des Moines River Bridge (Polk County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Haunched steel stringer bridge over Des Moines River on US 69 in Des Moines
Open to traffic

US69 Skunk River Tributary Arch (Story County, Iowa)
Lost Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Unnamed Tributary of Skunk River on US 69/Des Moines, Mason City & Minneapolis Highway
Replaced by a new bridge

US69 Walnut Creek Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Built 1913
Concrete arch bridge over Walnut Creek on US 69
Open to traffic

US69 Zadie Branch Bridge (Harrison County, Missouri)
Built 1925
Steel stringer bridge over Zadie Branch on US 69
Open to traffic

Veterans Park Bridge (Carroll County, Iowa)
Designer, 1913
Pony truss bridge over a field stream on Quail Avenue
Moved to Carroll Veterans Park

Vienna Avenue Bridge (Harrison County, Iowa)
Built 1967
Pony truss bridge over Pigeon Creek on Vienna Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Village Creek Bridge (Allamakee County, Iowa)
Design
Lost Warren through truss bridge over Village Creek on River Road
Replaced by a new bridge

Village Creek Bridge (Wapello County, Iowa)
Built 1946
Lost through truss bridge over Village Creek on a local road
Replaced by a new bridge

Vine Avenue Davis Creek Bridge (Washington County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Lost through truss bridge over Davis Creek on CR W64
No longer exists

Vine Avenue Small Natural Stream Bridge (Washington County, Iowa)
Built 1930
Steel stringer bridge over Small Natural Stream on Old IA923
Replaced by a new bridge

Volga River Bridge (Fayette County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Girder bridge over Volga River on S Avenue
Open to traffic

W 100th Street N Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1917
Slab bridge over Small Stream on W 100th Street N
Open to traffic

W 8th St S Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1919
Steel stringer bridge over Buck Creek on W 8th St S
Open to traffic

Walnut Creek Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Slab bridge over Walnut Creek on 560th Avenue
Open to traffic

Walnut Creek Bridge (Marion County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Lost pony truss bridge over walnut creek on 50th Avenue
Replaced by a new bridge

Walnut Creek Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1940
Through truss bridge over Walnut Creek on Hackberry Road
Open to traffic

Walnut Creek Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Built ca. 1930
Pony truss bridge over Walnut Creek on 160 Street
Open to traffic

Walnut Creek Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Built 1966
Through truss bridge over Walnut Creek on CR H38 (220 Street)
Closed to all traffic

Walnut Creek Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Built 1951
Through truss bridge over Walnut Creek on 240 Street
Intact but closed to all traffic

Walnut Creek Bridge (Montgomery County, Iowa)
Built 1921
Through truss bridge over Walnut Creek on 230 Street
Open to traffic

Wanatee Creek Park Culvert (Linn County, Iowa)
Design, 1926
Bridge over Wanatee Creek on Ski Lodge Road
Open to traffic

Washington Avenue Bridge (Hardin County, Iowa)
Design, 1934
Arch bridge over Iowa River on Washington Avenue in Iowa Falls
Open to traffic

Washington Street Bridge (Butler County, Iowa)
Design, 1925
Lost pony truss bridge over a drainage ditch on Washington Street
No longer exists

Waterford Road Bridge (Dallas County, Iowa)
Built 1936
Lost pony truss bridge over Walnut Creek on Waterford Road
Replaced by a new bridge

West 360th Street Bridge (Jasper County, Iowa)
Built 1928
Steel stringer bridge over Buck Creek on West 360th Street
Closed to all traffic

West 4th Street Bridge (Clay County, Iowa)
Built 1923
Lost Warren pony truss bridge over Little Sioux River on 350th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

West Beaver Creek Bridge (Greene County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Concrete Slab bridge over West Beaver Creek on Lincoln Highway
Abandoned / Preserved

West Beaver Creek Bridge (Greene County, Iowa)
Built 1924
Steel stringer bridge over West Beaver Creek on W Avenue / P46
Open to traffic

West Branch Indian Creek Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Design, 1919
Warren pony truss bridge over West Branch Indian Creek on 640th Avenue
Open to traffic

West Branch Indian Creek Bridge (Story County, Iowa)
Design, 1916
Pony truss bridge over West Branch Indian Creek on a 280th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

West Cemetery Road Bridge (Linn County, Iowa)
Design, 1917
Concrete deck girder bridge over Oscar Creek on West Cemetery Road
Open to traffic

West Fork Cedar River Bridge (Butler County, Iowa)
Designer, ca. 1920
Through truss bridge over West Fork Cedar River on Willow Avenue
Open to traffic

West Fork Little Sioux River Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built 1915
Pony truss bridge over West Fork Little Sioux River on 480th Street
Replaced by a new bridge

West Fork Little Sioux River Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built 1916
Pony truss bridge over West Fork Little Sioux River on B Avenue
Open to traffic

West Fork Little Sioux River Bridge (Cherokee County, Iowa)
Built 1939
Pony truss bridge over West Fork Little Sioux River on 470th Street
Open to traffic

West Fork Nodaway River Bridge (Adair County, Iowa)
Design, 1949
Warren through truss bridge over West Fork Nodaway River on 290th Street
Open to traffic

West Fork Nodaway River Bridge (Adair County, Iowa)
Built 1949
Camelback through truss bridge over West Fork Nodaway River on 300th Street
Open to traffic