2 votes

Berkheimer Bridge



Photo taken 1999 by Jason Smith

BH Photo #101791



According to county records, Mark Berkhimer and others petitioned the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for a bridge at this site in 1892, but the petition was not granted. In 1898 a report recommending a bridge at this site was approved. Bids for construction of the bridge were received on June 6, 1899, with eight companies submitting proposals. Most of the bidders offered more than one design. The contract was awarded to the Clinton Bridge and Iron Works for $2,836 for their Plan #4, which called for a 170-foot truss with two 32-foot approaches. Apparently the bridge was finished later in the year. The Berkhimer Bridge is one of six through-truss bridges in the county and the only one with the Pennsylvania design. Pennsylvania through trusses are relatively rare in the state, and this particular bridge retains very good design integrity [adapted from Johnson 1992].


Through truss bridge over West Fork Des Moines River on 215th Street west of Humboldt
Humboldt County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1899 by the Clinton Bridge & Iron Works; closed 2001; rehabilitated 2005
- Clinton Bridge & Iron Works of Clinton, Iowa
Pin-connected, 10-panel Pennsylvania through truss
Length of largest span: 170.0 ft.
Total length: 253.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.4 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 15, 1998
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.73888, -94.25366   (decimal degrees)
42°44'20" N, 94°15'13" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/397383/4732579 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 92 N., R. 29 W., Sec. 34
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory numbers
IA 184870 (Iowa bridge number)
NRHP 98000523 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 13652 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 24 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • June 10, 2019: Updated by Erik Hoffman: Added category "Pier Bents"
  • June 2, 2014: New photo from Lee Smith
  • October 26, 2012: Updated by Jason Smith: Added category "A-frame portal"
  • September 8, 2011: New photos from Jason Smith
  • July 26, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: Added description
  • April 15, 2010: New photo from Jay Rush
  • October 10, 2005: Posted photos from Jason Smith


  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • Luke
  • Historicbridges.org - by Nathan Holth
  • Lee Smith - ljsmith_32 [at] hotmail [dot] com


Blood Run Bridge
Posted April 26, 2008, by Carolyn Saul Logan (cflogan [at] mchsi [dot] com)

Here in Humboldt we call it the Bloody Run.


P.S. I think your site is wonderful. I am putting a link to your site on our Humboldt County Historical Assn web site www.humboldtiowahistory.org

Hope that is okay with you.

Berkheimer Bridge
Posted July 9, 2007, by Chuck Roe (chuckr [at] davispyramid [dot] com)

The old farm home near the bridge belongs to Polly Berkheimer who grew up there. I visited Polly in 2007 when she was 93 because I found I'm related to her. My grandparents were married on this farm in 1902. This is a very beautiful spot.

Berkheimer Bridge
Posted April 12, 2007, by David Lehman (davopro2aol [dot] com)

I jumped from it... I grew up in the town around the 70's. Never really thought of the bridge as historical..just thought, "Oh man, we have to drive over the bridge that might collapse" when I was a kid. Humboldt is a beautiful town with much more to offer than see!! I wish I could have raised my own child there.