1 vote

Ames Creek Bridge


Photo taken by Joni Yager

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

View this photo on Wikipedia

BH Photo #257055


The Clinton County Board of Supervisors in 1912 contracted with local builder J.A. Kane for a concrete bridge in De Witt township. Designed by the county engineer, the medium-span structure carried a section-line road over Ames Creek about two miles northeast of the town of De Witt, in the southern part of the county. The Charlotte, Iowa, contractor completed the Ames Creek Bridge that year for a total cost of $2,154. Consisting of a poured-in-place concrete through girder, the structure consumed some 11,000 pounds of reinforcing steel and 157 cubic yards of concrete; its concrete abutments and wingwalls required almost 125 cubic yards of excavation. The ornamentation was typically minimal, with simply formed recessed panels on the girder faces and angled haunches at the girder/abutment juncture. The Ames Creek Bridge has carried county-road traffic since its completion, and it remains in place in unaltered and well-preserved condition. When the Iowa State Highway Commission began developing standard bridge plans in 1913, it first concentrated on concrete culverts and short-span steel structures. The only concrete bridge type of note developed in the commission's first year was the I-Series through girder, which carried the roadway deck between two thickened concrete guardrails that also functioned as girders. Concrete through girders were soon built in abundance throughout the state, using ISHC's I-Series standard. But many of the counties had begun building concrete bridges--primarily concrete slabs and filled spandrel arches--on their own before the distribution of standards by the highway commission. Few of these pre-ISHC structures employed through girders, however, and only the Ames Creek Bridge is known to have survived to the present. It is therefore an important and well-preserved, early example of concrete bridge design undertaken before the codification of standards by the state highway commission [adapted from Fraser 1990].


Concrete girder bridge over Ames Creek on 300th Avenue
Clinton County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1912
- J.A. Kane of Charlotte, Iowa
Concrete pony girder
Length of largest span: 34.1 ft.
Total length: 37.1 ft.
Deck width: 16.1 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 19, 1981
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.85003, -90.51010   (decimal degrees)
41°51'00" N, 90°30'36" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/706698/4636122 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
De Witt
Land survey
T. 81 N., R. 4 E.
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 98000802 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
IA 122390 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 13206 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 53.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


Built 1912 (889)
Built during 1910s (10,105)
Clinton County, Iowa (71)
Concrete girder (1,087)
Girder (11,421)
Iowa (6,830)
J.A. Kane (1)
NR-listed (3,025)
One-lane traffic (8,043)
Open (41,247)
Owned by county (21,799)
Skewed (5,082)
Span length 25-50 feet (16,378)
Structurally deficient (12,692)
Through girder (4,294)
Total length 25-50 feet (11,630)

Update Log 

  • June 22, 2013: New photo from Luke Harden
  • August 20, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Corrected NRHP info
  • October 9, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: added builder and description
  • August 12, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: corrected road name
  • June 12, 2011: New photo from Luke Harden