In spring 1871, John R. Price and Brothers used stone from the Anamosa quarries to build the bridge's substructure for a county contract of $5,000. The board then hired William Crickett, an agent for the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company, to build a wrought iron bridge of three 125-foot spans and an overall bridge width of 18 feet, for a total contract cost of $11,000. The Waverly Bridge served in its original location until 1898 when it was replaced by a new girder bridge erected by the Toledo Bridge Company. Three years later, in May 1902, the old bowstring trusses were dismantled. One of its three spans was moved to a site across the Cedar River in Franklin Township; the remaining two spans were placed over the Cedar River in Jefferson Township. Know locally as the Green Mill Ford Bridge, these latter spans still stand in this location today.
The bowstring arch-truss was the iron span of choice for Iowa counties in the late 1860s and 1870s. Marketed extensively throughout the Midwest by such industry giants as the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company and the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, these often-patented bridge forms featured a wide range of span lengths, economical fabrication cost and relatively quick erection. The proliferation of the bowstring corresponded with the initial development of Iowa's road system; as a result, perhaps thousands of these prototypical iron spans were erected throughout the state. The bowstring had some rather severe structural flaws, however, relating primarily to lateral stability of the arches, and it was largely superseded by the pin-connected truss in the early 1880s. Despite this, some bowstrings were still erected in Iowa in the 1880s, although the number dwindled precipitously by decade's end. Through subsequent attrition, almost all of Iowa's bowstrings have since been replaced and demolished. Although it no longer carries traffic, the Green Mill Ford Bridge is historically and technologically significant as of the last remaining examples in the state of what was once a mainstay structural type. [adapted from Fraser 1990]