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East Branch Indian Creek Bridge


Photo taken by Carl Wycoff

License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #238788


N.M. Stark of Des Moines began building bridges for Story County in 1902 and soon became the county's only bridge builder. This trend lasted until the state legislature passed legislation in 1913 prohibiting annual bridge contracts and codifying bidding procedure. This effectively ended Stark's monopoly on bridge construction in the county; after 1913 he did not build a single bridge. But in the early 1910s he was responsible for several small- and medium-scale concrete arches, built using the patented configuration of Indianapolis engineer Daniel Luten. Stark's arches ranged in span length from 20 feet to 75 feet, and all featured the distinctive elliptical profile of Luten's design and the concrete parapets with incised rectangular panels that had become a Stark trademark. Located southeast of Nevada in Nevada Township, the East Indian Creek Bridge was one of the arches built by Stark during this period. It was constructed for a cost of $4,462, as part of a multiple-bridge contract awarded to Stark in May 1912. With a span length of 75 feet, the Indian Creek Bridge was the longest concrete arch built by Stark in the county, excluding the Squaw Creek Bridge (since destroyed by floods) he erected in Ames in 1908. It is thus technologically significant as a long-span example of a patented structural type, constructed by the state's most prolific concrete bridge builder before the standardization of bridge design in Iowa [adapted from Fraser 1992].


Arch bridge over East Branch Indian Creek on 260th Street
Story County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1912
- N.M. Stark & Co. of Des Moines, Iowa
Luten Arch
Length of largest span: 75.1 ft.
Total length: 78.1 ft.
Deck width: 16.4 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 15, 1998
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.97522, -93.38753   (decimal degrees)
41°58'31" N, 93°23'15" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/467893/4647097 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 83 N., R. 22 W., Sec. 27
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory numbers
IA 314630 (Iowa bridge number)
NRHP 98000485 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 14426 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of December 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Sufficiency rating: 77.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


Arch (12,775)
Built 1912 (891)
Built during 1910s (10,126)
Closed-spandrel arch (4,305)
Deck arch (11,999)
Functionally obsolete (5,680)
Iowa (6,830)
Luten arch (102)
N.M. Stark & Co. (53)
NR-listed (3,025)
One-lane traffic (8,051)
Open (41,256)
Owned by county (21,819)
Span length 75-100 feet (6,758)
Story County, Iowa (163)
Total length 75-100 feet (6,960)

Update Log 

  • April 4, 2020: New photos from Nolan Crees
  • September 8, 2012: Photo imported by Luke Harden
  • January 23, 2012: Photo imported by Luke Harden
  • December 19, 2011: Updated by Frank Hicks: Added NRHP info
  • July 27, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: Added description and photograph