No votes cast

Okoboji Bridge



Photo by Clayton B. Fraser, February 1992, for HAER

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #122671


Canitlevered Concrete deck girder bridge over Okoboji Lake on US 71 & IA 9 in Okoboji
Okoboji, Dickinson County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1929; rehabilitated 1979 and 1997; Previous structure was a pony truss bridge and before that, a series of wooden swing spans.
- Iowa State Highway Commission of Ames, Iowa (Design)
- Scothern & Albrecht of Early, Iowa (Earthen Approaches)
- Wickham Bridge & Pipe Co. of Council Bluffs, Iowa (Contractor)
"Built in 1929, the Okoboji Bridge is one of only four cantilevered concrete girders known to remain in use on Iowa's highways. Employed where a simpler, less costly steel stringer span would have sufficed, the bridge represents an affinity for concrete construction and an uncharacteristic commitment to aesthetics on the part of the Iowa State Highway Commission. The structure is also noteworthy as the latest in a series of spans over the strait between East and West Okoboji Lakes - the oldest bridged crossing in Dickinson County. The present Okoboji Bridge and its five timber and steel predecessors represent a continuum of bridge construction stretching back more than 130 years, providing insight into the evolution of bridge technology."

Clayton B. Fraser
Loveland, Colorado


Length of largest span: 39.0 ft.
Total length: 64.0 ft.
Deck width: 54.1 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
The Grade
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.37501, -95.12734   (decimal degrees)
43°22'30" N, 95°07'38" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/327659/4804658 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
IA 23670 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 37321 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 28, 2012: Photo imported by Luke Harden
  • July 31, 2010: New Street View added by Jason Smith
  • October 4, 2009: New photos from Jason Smith
  • August 27, 2008: Added by J.R. Manning

Related Bridges 


  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • HAER IA-40 - Okoboji Bridge
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • IaDOT Website: Okoboji Bridge - Provides details on the pony truss and arch spans.


New Okoboji Bridge - Aesthetics Important to Community
Posted February 11, 2009, by Quinn Phelan (qphelan [at] earthlink [dot] net)

Everybody complains about historic bridges being replaced by ugly utilitarian structures. Here is an example of how the Iowa DOT is a leader in working with communities to keep this from happening. I remember this bridge replacement in 1998-2000, and the concern about how it would look. I think the Iowa DOT did a great job on this one! A popular waterfront restaurant had to be moved to the other side of the road to accommodate the new bridge - but it is still thriving. Here is a great article on the process of the bridge replacement. The pre-fab nature of the replacement is of peticular interest to me...


Here is what the new bridge looks like:

Attachment #1 (image/x-ms-bmp; 378,054 bytes)