2 votes

Hawkeye Creek Bridge


Iowa Department of Transportation


BH Photo #270768



This short-span through truss carries a gravel-surfaced road over Hawkeye Creek northeast of Mediapolis. The bridge consists of a single rigid-connected Pratt through truss, supported by concrete abutments. The Hawkeye Creek Bridge dates to 1909. On September 23rd of that year the Des Moines County Board of Supervisors contracted with the Clinton Bridge and Iron Works for this 80-foot span and two other, smaller steel structures. Presumably completed the following year, the Hawkeye Creek Bridge has carried vehicular traffic since, in essentially unaltered condition. When this bridge was let for bids in 1909, the Iowa State Highway Commission had not yet begun standardizing bridge design in the state. This left counties such as Des Moines to depend, as they had for decades before, largely on the bridge companies themselves for both engineering and construction. Firms such as the Clinton Bridge and Iron Works relied almost exclusively on pin-connected trusses up until about 1910, when they began to use riveted trusses as well. With its riveted Pratt through truss, the Hawkeye Creek Bridge was built during this transitional period between independently designed, rigid-connected trusses and ISHC standard design spans. It resembled the 1914 state standards in design but differed slightly in detail, indicative of its independent source. It is thus technologically significant as one of the few of the pre-ISHC riveted through trusses, the oldest example of its type in Iowa [adapted from Crow-Dolby and Fraser 1992].


Pratt through truss bridge over Hawkeye Creek on Hawkeye Road
Des Moines County, Iowa
Open to pedestrians only; Replaced by a low water crossing.
Built 1910 by the Clinton Bridge & Iron Works
- Clinton Bridge & Iron Works of Clinton, Iowa
5-panel, riveted Pratt through truss
Span length: 81.0 ft.
Total length: 81.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 11.8 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1998
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.04251, -91.05774   (decimal degrees)
41°02'33" N, 91°03'28" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/663246/4545293 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 72 N., R. 2 W., Sec. 14
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 98000790 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
IA 144120 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 13395 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2018)
Sufficiency rating: 21.2 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • November 21, 2021: Updated by Tony Dillon: Updated status to closed per forum post
  • November 21, 2021: Updated by Chris Gonnerman: Added picture of west approach showing it as it is now (i.e. closed)
  • March 26, 2019: Updated by Luke: Updated status and added photograph per forum comment.
  • April 2, 2017: New photo from Luke
  • March 25, 2015: Updated by Dave King: Added categories "Lattice Railing", "A-frame portal"
  • November 20, 2013: New photo from Luke Harden
  • September 8, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: added description and photograph



Hawkeye Creek Bridge
Posted March 26, 2019, by Luke

According to https://www.thehawkeye.com/4834dfda-8f43-52f4-87a6-e6280f361... the bridge was closed and replaced with a low water crossing, which I believe is visible in the lower right of Eric's photograph.

This is a nigh-ideal solution in my opinion.

And speaking of that: Thank you for the information/photograph Eric!