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Walker's Ferry Bridge

Photos 

The bridge this entry is for is behind the bridge in the foreground

Public Domain: Published Prior to 1923

Enlarge

BH Photo #339315

Map 

Description 

September 7, 1887 supervisors from these Des Moines and Lee counties first met on to view the site for a proposed bridge over the Skunk River on the Burlington-Ft. Madison Road. The next day the men issued a joint resolution, stating: "We recognize the need and necessity for a bridge [here] but having lately gone to considerable expense at the Bridgeport and Augusta Bridges, we therefore deem it expedient at the present time to take definite action in this matter." The two counties dickered into 1888 over their respective shares in paying for the bridge's construction, until, finally, in June they agreed to split the cost with Des Moines County paying three-fifths and Lee County paying two-fifths. Walker's Ferry, near the river's mouth, was chosen as the crossing site, and Chicago engineer Horace B. Horton was commissioned to design the structure. He engineered two designs: one featured a single 360-foot span, the other used two 180-foot trusses, both were to be supported by iron cylinder piers. On June 28th the two boards met in joint session at Fort Madison to open competitive bids for the bridge's construction. Low bidder at $9,435, the James B. Diver Bridge Company of Keokuk was awarded the contract for the two-span design. After its completion, the Walker's Ferry Bridge carried traffic for over forty years, before it was replaced with another structure. In the spring of 1930 one of the trusses was disassembled, moved, and re-erected at this rural Van Buren County crossing to replace an 1895 structure washed out by floods.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Skunk River on Road
Location
Des Moines County, Iowa, and Lee County, Iowa
Status
Replaced by a new bridge
History
Built 1888; Replaced 1928; Removed and relocated 1930
Builders
- Horace E. Horton of Rochester, Minnesota (Designer)
- James B. Diver Bridge Co. of Keokuk, Iowa (Contractor)
- Penn Bridge Co. of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania (Manufacturer)
Design
Pratt through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.72453, -91.20879   (decimal degrees)
40°43'28" N, 91°12'32" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/651272/4509721 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Dallas City
Inventory number
BH 69250 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 5, 2022: New photo from Luke
  • July 8, 2021: Updated by Luke: Confirmed as original location of the Eisenhower Bridge in Van Buren County
  • March 22, 2017: Updated by Luke: Added builder

Related Bridges 

Sources 

Comments 

Skunk River Bridge
Posted March 9, 2020, by Luke

This page is for the road bridge adjacent to the railroad bridge, and the build date/builder come from a trade magazine article you can find linked below in the sources section, as well as maps.

The page for the railroad bridge is: https://bridgehunter.com/ia/des-moines/bh72509/