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Plattsmouth Bridge


Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #158044


Street Views 


The Plattsmouth Bridge carries U.S. Highway 34 over the Missouri River between Mills County, Iowa, and Cass County, Nebraska. Located immediately downriver from engineer George Morison's 1880 railroad bridge, the immense structure consists of seven spans: a 402-foot cantilevered through truss over the river's navigable channel, anchored by 201-foot through spans, with two 203-foot and two 104-foot deck trusses on the eastern flood plain. The bridge was constructed in 1929 as a toll structure for the Plattsmouth Bridge Company, a privately held corporation. (The bridge is still operated for tolls by the company.) The bridge was designed, fabricated and erected by the Omaha Structural Steel Works, with a total construction cost reported as $639,361. With its sharp angularity and somewhat graceless profile, the Plattsmouth Bridge resembles some of the 19th century pin-connected trusses over the Missouri River. But its riveted connections and modestly Moderne channel piers indicate the relatively late construction date. The bridge's 20-foot roadway width places it among the narrowest of the extant vehicular trusses over the Missouri River. Since its completion in December 1929, the Plattsmouth Bridge has carried relatively heavy traffic on this strategically important interstate route. The Plattsmouth Bridge is historically significant as a nationally important vehicular crossing of the Missouri River--the oldest extant Missouri River highway bridge into Iowa. It is technologically significant as a noteworthy example of cantilevered truss construction [adapted from Fraser 1990].


Through truss toll bridge over Missouri River on old US 34 at Plattsmouth
Plattsmouth, Cass County, Nebraska, and Mills County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1929; rehabilitated 2008
- Modjeski & Chase (Consulting engineers)
- Omaha Steel Works of Omaha, Nebaraska (Superstructure)
- Union Bridge & Construction Co. of Kansas City, Missouri (Substructure)
Cantilevered Warren through truss
Length of largest span: 402.3 ft.
Total length: 1,420.3 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.00094, -95.86685   (decimal degrees)
41°00'03" N, 95°52'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/258882/4542821 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Pacific Junction
Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
Inventory numbers
IA 35690 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 23841 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 22.3 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • March 19, 2017: New photo from Daniel Barnes
  • November 1, 2014: Updated by Luke: Modified status
  • March 17, 2014: New Street View added by Luke Harden
  • March 17, 2014: New Street View added by Robert Elder
  • September 14, 2012: New photos from Mark Frazier
  • February 10, 2012: Photo imported by Luke Harden
  • July 29, 2011: Updated by Luke Harden: Added description
  • September 10, 2010: Updated by David Backlin: Scheduled for replacement 2013
  • March 14, 2010: Updated by James Baughn: Removed duplicate listing, added Street View
  • December 8, 2009: Updated by Brad J Williams: Corrected an Error, Bridge goes to Cass County, NE not Sarpy County, NE
  • September 12, 2008: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Location
  • June 16, 2008: New photos from Historic American Engineering Record


  • HAER IA-67 - Plattsmouth Bridge
  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • Wikipedia
  • Brad J Williams - brad [at] bradwilliamsphotography [dot] com
  • David Backlin - us71 [at] cox [dot] net
  • Luke
  • Mark Frazier - mfrazier404 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Daniel Barnes


Plattsmouth Bridge
Posted November 1, 2014, by Lyon Wonder (lyon_wonder [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This article suggests the Plattsmouth toll bridge is still open to traffic.


In 2007, the city of Plattsmouth bought the toll bridge for $1 from the Plattsmouth Bridge Co. and created a commission to operate and maintain it. Built in 1929, the 402-feet-long, cantilevered truss bridge cost about $700,000.

The new bridge obviously will reduce toll revenues, Portis said, but it will also reduce wear and tear on the Plattsmouth bridge, which was refurbished in 2008.

"One fully loaded (semi) truck does as much damage as 2,000 cars," he said, adding that the city would like to see more cars than trucks use the toll bridge.

He thinks semi drivers and farmers hauling grain will use the new U.S. 34 route to avoid stop-and-go traffic through Plattsmouth and save fuel, and that many Plattsmouth and Glenwood, Iowa, residents will still use the old toll bridge because it's an easy way to cross the Missouri River and saves them several miles. The toll for a car is $1.50.

Plattsmouth Bridge
Posted October 24, 2014, by Lyon Wonder (lyon_wonder [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The brand new 4-lane US 34 bridge is now open to traffic, which takes US 34 off the old toll bridge.


Plattsmouth Bridge
Posted March 17, 2014, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

You know it is a good bridge when the Google Streetview cars run in tandem...

Plattsmouth Bridge
Posted September 12, 2010, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

I'm seeing conflicting reports on whether this bridge is doomed or not. A new four-lane bridge on US 34 is now under construction to the north, with completion set for 2013. But will this bridge be demolished, or kept for local traffic to Plattsmouth? Quite a bit of money was spent rehabilitating this bridge in 2008.