1 vote

Snider Bridge


Looking east from the approach deck

Photo taken by Joseph Nield in June 2010


BH Photo #168978



Adams County's Snider Bridge is a medium-span pony truss built in 1885 to cross an unnamed stream four miles west of Corning. In June of that year the Adams County Board of Supervisors received petitions from county residents for the placement of seventeen small bridges. The largest of these proposed bridges was that requested by George Snider, who asked that a 60-foot bridge be built in the west part of Section 31 of Quincy Township. For the two longest spans, including the Snider Bridge, the board decided to solicit bids to erect iron structures.

On June 15th bids were received from eight firms, and a contract to build both bridges was awarded to Reeve, Ward and Keepers of Clinton, Iowa. The contract price for both crossings was $1,451.00. Completed later that year, the Snider Bridge has carried wagon and automobile traffic ever since. Although the substructure and approach spans have been replaced over time, the pinned Pratt truss remains today in unaltered condition. The Pratt through-truss design was patented in 1844 by Thomas and Caleb Pratt, the Pratt design is distinguished by vertical members acting in compression and diagonals that act in tension.

"The Pratt truss is the type most commonly used in America for spans under two hundred and fifty feet in length," noted bridge engineer J.A.L. Waddell wrote in 1916. "

Its advantages are simplicity, economy of metal, and suitability for connecting to floor and lateral systems." Virtually all of the major regional bridge fabricators manufactured Pratt trusses and marketed them extensively to Iowa's counties. This included the fledgling Clinton, Iowa, firm of Reeve, Ward and Keepers, founders of what would grow to become the state's most prolific bridge builder--the Clinton Bridge and Iron Works. Thousands of pinned Pratt trusses were erected throughout Iowa, in both through- and pony-truss configurations, and many remain in service today.

The Snider Bridge is distinguished as one of the earliest of the Pratt pony trusses still standing in the state. The oldest remaining roadway bridge in Adams County, Snider Bridge is further distinguished as the earliest truss in the state attributable to Clinton Bridge and Iron Works. In well-preserved condition, the Snider Bridge is an important early resource of Iowa transportation [adapted from Fraser 1991].


Pony truss bridge over Kemp Creek on 220th Street, west of Corning
Adams County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1885 by Reeve, Ward and Keepers of Clinton, Iowa
- Reeve, Ward & Keepers of Clinton, Iowa
Pratt pony truss
Length of largest span: 60.0 ft.
Total length: 119.1 ft.
Deck width: 13.5 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1998
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.98656, -94.81772   (decimal degrees)
40°59'12" N, 94°49'04" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/347092/4538856 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 71 N., R. 35 W., Sec. 1
Average daily traffic (as of 2016)
Inventory numbers
IA 59190 (Iowa bridge number)
NRHP 98000774 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 12790 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 22 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


19th Century (7,848)
Adams County, Iowa (33)
Built 1885 (192)
Built during 1880s (2,058)
Iowa (6,625)
NR-listed (2,997)
One-lane traffic (7,653)
Open (40,260)
Owned by county (21,234)
Pin-connected (4,058)
Pony truss (16,571)
Pratt pony truss (3,760)
Pratt truss (9,678)
Reeve, Ward & Keepers (2)
Span length 50-75 feet (10,259)
Total length 100-125 feet (5,257)
Truss (33,900)
Wooden deck (6,102)

Update Log 

  • July 16, 2017: New photos from Luke
  • July 15, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • July 15, 2017: New photos from Ronnie Earnest
  • August 11, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: Added description
  • July 2, 2010: New photos from Joseph Nield
  • April 12, 2010: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added name of facility crossed



Snider Bridge
Posted July 16, 2017, by Luke
Snider Bridge
Posted July 16, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Very neat old pony! I wonder if this obscure firm might have been the predecessors to the Clinton Bridge & Iron Works.

Snider Bridge
Posted July 16, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is an exceptionally interesting bridge. I will have to put it on the bucket list.