6 votes

Walnut Street Bridge (2nd)


Walnut street Bridge

Looking south. The original Court street Bridge is in background.

Photo by Lost Des Moines

BH Photo #244786



Bowstring through truss bridge over Des Moines River on Walnut Street
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1871, Replaced 1891
- Columbia Bridge Works of Dayton, Ohio
- D.H. & C.C. Morrison of Dayton, Ohio [also known as Columbia Bridge Works]
Bowstring through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.58752, -93.61721   (decimal degrees)
41°35'15" N, 93°37'02" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/448555/4604164 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Des Moines SE
Inventory number
BH 54950 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 18, 2020: New photo from Luke
  • December 26, 2018: New photo from Michael O'Brien
  • August 25, 2017: New photo from Luke
  • July 13, 2016: Updated by Luke: Added builder
  • April 25, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added build & loss dates
  • December 18, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Edited entry
  • December 18, 2012: Added by Michael O'Brien

Related Bridges 


  • Michael O'Brien
  • Luke


Walnut Street Bridge (2nd)
Posted January 19, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Luke, thank you. It's always exciting to find an answer.

Walnut Street Bridge (2nd)
Posted January 19, 2020, by Luke

Newspapers.com and Melissa's willingness to aide us with stuff has greatly benefitted the site, and has solved several mysteries.

Currently, I'm trying to solve the jumbled mess that is the bridge at Wapello, Iowa, but alas, I've yet to find builder-related answers, only answers to "Why did they replace the middle spans in 1903" (Flood undermined the central piers)

Walnut Street Bridge (2nd)
Posted January 18, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nice find Luke!

This morning I had come up with the hypothesis that this bridge was CBW. I had convinced myself of it while looking at other CBW bowstrings, especially the railing on the Pittsburg, IN bridge http://bridgehunter.com/in/carroll/bh42467/

but nothing is as good as contemporary documentation!


Art S.

Walnut Street Bridge (2nd)
Posted January 18, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

I read and skimmed the book in the link (above) referring to the bridge. The linked paragraph refers to the first bridge, built in 1866. It was made of wood compression members and, at least, one span collapsed in September of 1869 under a load of 100 horses from Texas. "Repairs" were $7356.74 (no contractor listed). I suspect that was the cost of the bowstring.

I also found a picture of a three span 1891 King Pratt listed as Walnut Street. Des Moines.

So, in my opinion, the bridge builder of the bowstring isn't presently known.


Art S.