6 votes

Garnavillo Township Bridge


Oh, Rats...Too Late...But Wait!

What is that under that modern, zero romance, Utilitarian Concrete Eyesore Bridge?

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2012


BH Photo #235072



At the turn of the century, Clayton County contracted with a variety of firms and individuals to build bridges across the county's myriad streams and ditches. For longer-span crossings (often across the Turkey River) the county opted for iron or steel trusses, whereas at shorter crossings, rudimentary timber stringer structures were often erected. For some crossings, though, the county took advantage of the area's limestone quarries and erected arch bridges built of stone. Constructed by numerous local stone masons, these crossings have maintained a higher degree of structural integrity than either their timber or steel stringer counterparts. The most notable of Clayton County's stone arches is Byrne and Blake's 189-foot Keystone Bridge, built over the Turkey River at Elkader in 1888-89. Typical of these bridges is the stone arch Garnavillo Township Bridge, located some two miles west of Garnavillo. The bridge was built in 1902 by A.C. Boyle and Company of McGregor, Iowa, who likely obtained the stone from either the Motor Quarry near Motor Mill or Coles Quarry near Elkader. Using sixty-five cords of stone, Boyle constructed the crossing for a total cost of $1462.72. Today, this bridge is one of seven stone arches which carry traffic on Clayton County's roadways. As a group, they exhibit an exceptionally high degree of craftsmanship and historic integrity [adapted from Fraser 1991].


Stone arch bridge over Unnamed Stream on 250th Street
Clayton County, Iowa
Closed to all traffic
Future prospects
New bridge was built over top of the already existing bridge
Built 1902
- A.C. Boyle & Co. of McGregor, Iowa
Stone arch
Span length: 20.0 ft.
Total length: 20.0 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1998
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.86286, -91.28257   (decimal degrees)
42°51'46" N, 91°16'57" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/640297/4747016 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
NRHP 98000807 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 51086 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


A.C. Boyle & Co. (3)
Arch (12,308)
Built 1902 (538)
Built during 1900s (7,379)
Clayton County, Iowa (113)
Closed (2,701)
Deck arch (11,548)
Iowa (6,563)
NR-listed (2,974)
Owned by county (21,025)
Preserved (1,207)
Span length under 25 feet (6,934)
Stone arch (3,127)
Total length under 25 feet (2,515)

Update Log 

  • February 22, 2021: New photos from David Beck
  • July 11, 2012: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • January 25, 2012: Added by Luke Harden


  • Luke
  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • David Beck


Garnavillo Township Bridge
Posted November 17, 2012, by Anonymous

I've never seen a bridge built over a bridge before. Whatever the reason, I'm glad it wasn't torn down.