Long Meadow Bridge to be Rehabilitated

Photo taken in August 2011

Rehabilitation to begin in late 2014; bridge could be reopen by late summer 2015

August 2011: A bridge that once served as an important link along Cedar Avenue, spanning Long Meadow Lake serving vehicular traffic until 1992 and pedestrians until 2002 when it was fenced off. The days of the Long Meadow Bridge, a five-span Parker through truss bridge built in 1927 seemed to be numbered, for the City of Bloomington wanted the bridge gone because it was a liability. Yet the bridge was on federal wildlife lands and officials refused to allow the structure to be torn down and replaced with a berm. Visiting the bridge in person, it was in a sorry state with steel parts corroding, weeds growing in the floor boards and the words of “restore me” being written on every steel beam and stone pier. And it is understandable for transportation officials at MnDOT claimed upon inspection that the superstructure was in good shape. The question is with the piers and flooring.

Fast forward two years and one month later, and we have a different story. The bridge which was fenced off for over 11 years will be reopened again, and the bridge itself will be restored so that people can utilize the bridge again. On a 5-2 vote last week, the Bloomington City Council, the same tenants who had debated over the future of the bridge for two decades, voted in favor of the restoration of the bridge for $12.7 million. This is part of the $250 million package that was approved a month earlier for the expansion of the Mall of America and improvements in the City’s infrastructure. Factors influencing the decision included the bridge’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places and the stance of the Federal Government, which owned the wildlife refuge and stated that restoration was the only viable option. The interest in the bridge being restored from pontists, photographers, bird watchers and locals was also not ignored.

With the approved funding for restoring the bridge, the next step is to determine how the bridge will be restored. This will be done through a public forum this winter, followed by design work next year, which once the plan is approved and the contractor is hired, construction would begin next winter (2014/15) with the bridge being reopened to all traffic by late summer 2015.

After a decade where a key link across the Minnesota River and Long Meadow Lake was closed off and where the bridge could best be seen by the observation deck located west of the structure or from the Hwy. 77 bridge located to the east, people will finally have a chance to cross the bridge and learn about its history, both in terms of its construction and a contributor to Minnesota’s transportation history, but also in terms of Bloomington’s history and that of the Old Cedar Avenue, whose 80 year history is loaded with relicts from the past and memories for people to learn about. And this is thanks to the City of Bloomington, the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation, the State Historical Society, Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, and those who have contributed their time and efforts to make it happen.

While there is talk of having a Historic Bridge Weekend in Minnesota, having it in 2015 will coincide with the bridge’s reopening. If this happens, it will make reopening the bridge start off with a bang! The Chronicles will keep you posted on the latest developments involving this bridge.

Side view of the Long Meadow Bridge and plane enroute to the Twin Cities International Airport. Photo taken in August 2011

 

Bunker Mill Bridge Update 16 September 2013

Bunker Mill Bridge southeast of Kalona, Iowa- victim of arson that occurred on 11 August, 2013 and whose future is in doubt. Photo taken in August 2011

Board of Supervisor Meeting tomorrow in Washington. First fundraiser event on Thursday the 19th in Kalona

As mentioned previously in the Newsflyer on 10 September, the Bunker Mill Bridge was severely damaged by arson in August, even though the 1887 bridge (which was rehabilitated in 1913) was scheduled to be part of the bike trail connecting Richmond and Kalona, where it is located over the English River.

Despite the tragic event, the organization Friends of the Bunker Mill Bridge (FBMB) has launched efforts to save and restore the bridge for reuse.  Fundraisers have started and more than 120 people have joined the facebook group with more providing support in one way or another. While over 100 people attended the inauguration meeting on September 11th, including the Washington County Board of Supervisors, another key meeting is scheduled for tomorrow September 17th at 9:30 at the Washington County Courthouse in Washington. There a resolution on how funding can be used for restoring the bridge instead of demolishing it will be created and it is hoped that there will be enough support to inspect the damaged structure, repair and restore it and reuse it again. People with a strong interest in this bridge are asked to attend this meeting. If unable, then letters and petitions to the county board of supervisors and the conservation board are strongly encouraged.

As for the fundraising attempts, while T-shirts are being sold with proceeds going to the bridge, the first key fundraising event will take place this Thursday, 19 September at Tuscan Moon Grill on Fifth in Kalona beginning at 5:00pm. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the consultants who will oversee the needs for the bridge. For more information on this event or if you want to buy the shirt, please contact Suzanne Michaeu or David Finley of the FBMB. Easiest way is through the organization’s facebook page, which you can click here to access.

The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles will keep you posted on the latest involving the bridge. A detailed article on the bridge is in the works but it will be released in October once the interviews are finished and more details are presented.

Newsflyer 13 September 2013

Chicago and Great Western Bridge in Des Moines- now a distant memory. Photo taken in August 2011

Iowa railroad bridge now history; another Mississippi River crossing to be demolished; Riverside Bridge example being taken on by other bridge groups?

Do you know of a historic bridge that you wanted to photograph but you could not because it was gone before you had a chance to visit it? Many people have these bridges on their places to visit list but when they visit them, end up with a piece of metal as a souvenir because it ended up in the dumpster. And one can imagine the reactions that these people had when this happens: “If I would have bleeping known that it was going to be demolished, I would have bleeping done this and bleeping done that……” as one of the pontists explicitely did while we were on tour of some bridges in western Ohio in 2010.

There have been several bridges in the US alone this year that has fallen into one category or the other, many of which have already been mentioned in the Newsflyer. But there are some that are doomed, but there is still a chance to see them while they still are standing, even though in the case of a couple bridges, the decision to replace instead of rehabilitate have reasons that are questionable. The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles has a round of unfortunate events here in this Newsflyer for Friday the 13th.

 

CGW Bridge finally gone.

The City of Des Moines has a wide collection of bridges, historical and fancy, spanning the Raccoon and Des Moines River for over 130 years. Unfortunately, this bridge (as seen in the picture above) is no longer one of them. Two days ago on the 12th anniversary of the Terrorist Attacks on New York and Washington, the last of the four spans of the Chicago  Great Western Bridge spanning the Des Moines River south of the confluence with the Raccoon River was pulled down with hundreds of spectators watching from the Scott Avenue Bridge. A link to the video can be found here.  The 1887 bridge had been abandoned since 2001, and plans were in the works to incorporate the Pratt through truss bridges with a 15° skew into the bike trail network. Yet a series of unfortunate events sealed the bridge’s fate, starting with the flood of 2008 and 2011 combined with a series of arsons which substantially damaged the bridge’s deck and piers. The plan to raise the dikes and bridges to ease the flooding along the Des Moines River sealed the railroad bridge’s fate, as work commenced in the Summer of last year to tear down the bridge. The Chronicles was the first to report on this development as unusual activity was reported which caused the first westernmost span to collapse. It was later reported that the bridge was being removed. When the bridge was reduced to one span on the east end of the river by fall, there was hope that the bridge, which was handed back over to the City of Des Moines after the demolition contractor canceled his contract to demolish and remove the entire structure, there was hope that the bridge could either be relocated for reuse or converted into the pier. A facebook page promoting the preservation of the last span was created earlier this year, but it was taken down recently. It was also present at the time of the Historic Bridge Weekend. But in the end, it had to go. Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the bridge, commenced with the dismantling of the bridge and with one screeching fall, the span ended in the river.  It will take until the end of this year to remove the steel and piers. Then the bridge will be all but a memory. John Marvig visited the bridge multiple times and has photographed the bridge when it was being removed. A link can be found here with information on the bridge’s history.

 

Sylvan Island Bridge to come down

Located in Moline, which is part of the Quad Cities, and spanning the Sylvan Slough, which was part of the Mississippi River, this 1901 two-span Pratt through truss bridge with A-frame portal bracings provided people with the only link to Sylvan Island from Moline. That was until earlier in May of this year, when concerns over the bridge bouncing when crossing led to it being closed and fenced off to all traffic. Now the bridge’s fate appears to be sealed as the city hired a contractor to tear down the structure and replace it with a more modern one. When the bridge will come down is unknown, but the window is closing fast for those wanting to see it before it becomes history. The decision to tear down the bridge has led to two questions: 1. Does a bouncing bridge really justify the need to replace it or if it is just a knee-jerk reaction in the name of liability, and 2. What will the future hold for the other bridge located at Sylvan Island: an 1869 Whipple through truss bridge that was brought in from Burlington to serve rail traffic until its abandonment?  Both of these questions are being pursued, and the Chronicles will keep you posted.

 

Reasonability versus Radicalism involving a pair of New Hampshire bridges

The Charles Dana and Anna Hunt Marsh Bridges are two identical green 1920 Parker through truss spans that carry NH Hwy. 119 over the Connecticut River and its island connecting Battleboro and Hinsdale. Both are considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. But sadly both are too narrow and need to be replaced. Replacement plans have been in the works  for over 20 years, but one person tried to quicken the process by vandalizing the bridge. Mike Mulligan was arrested for pulling the wooden planks from the pedestrian boardwalk and causing additional damage to the structure as a way of justifying the need to replace the bridge. He was later released with a restraining order that he stays away from the bridge and if he needs to cross it, he must not get out of the car. Mr. Mulligan recently used James Baughn’s Bridgehunter website to justify his actions, which turned into a philosophical discussion involving the bounciness and the oil for the wheel. Needless to say he did not receive any support but he is in the running for the 2013 Smith Awards in the category “Dumbest Reason to Destroy a Bridge.” A link to the Charles Dana Bridge with the dialogue in the comment section can be found here.  As for the bridges themselves, they are scheduled to be replaced but plans are in the making to convert these bridges into pedestrian crossings. But it will take 3-5 years before work actually begins, given the current budget situation in New Hampshire.  Sorry Mike, but you have to deal with the current situation and grin and bear it. It’s better than going to jail and paying dearly for vandalism.

 

Rehabilitation or Replacement? Dilemma with the Tunnel/Bridge

Blue Earth County in south central Minnesota has one of the highest number of historic bridges in the state of Minnesota. Or given the trend that has occurred in the last two decades, it had one of the highest number of pre 1950 bridges. And if things go in the way of the county engineer, another bridge, a 20 foot long and 36 foot wide tunnel/bridge, which spans Minneopa Creek at the State Park near Mankato will be altered beyond recognition. Built in 1876, the arch bridge carries a railroad and county road but is unique because the tunnel shifts at a 45° angle. The county plans to replace the road version but it is unknown whether the railroad portion will also be replaced. The reason for the plan is because the stone arch was deteriorating. Can a stone arch deteriorate and if so how? This question will be pursued in hopes there will be some concrete answers to be posted in the future. In the meantime, attempts are being made to nominate the bridge onto the National Register and address the need to preserve the bridge. More information on that will come.

Blue Earth County built a high number of Marsh Arch bridges and iron bridges built by the Wrough Iron and Bridge Company. This includes the Kern Bowstring Arch Bridge, the longest of its kind in the country and second longest in the world behind the Blackfriars Bridge in Ontario (Canada). A tour of the bridges will be provided in the Chronicles.

Newsflyer 10 September 2013 Part II

Mulberry Creek Bridge in Ford County, KS. Photo courtesy of Wayne Keller. Used with permission.

Continuing from Part I, not everything is doom and gloom regarding historic bridges. In fact some drives to save historic bridges are in gear providing a clear signal that the interest in saving these relicts is there. Here are some more highlights as we focus on part II.

Sutton-Weaver Swing Bridge to be refurbished

Spanning the Weaver River between the town of Frodsham and the village of Sutton Weaver (Chester District) in Great Britain, this bridge was built in 1923 by James Parks and features a Howe through truss swing span. It carries A56, a primary highway that connects the two communities. Structural concerns have prompted officials to close the bridge and refurbish it, a project which has commenced and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2014. A Bailey truss bridge has been erected alongside the swing bridge to ensure that motorists can use the crossing and not use a detour which is 14 miles long. More information on this bridge can be found here.

Preservation Campaign to save Mulberry Creek Bridge underway.

Last year, the Chronicles did a report on the two-span through truss bridge spanning Mulberry Creek in Ford County, Kansas, which carries a small minimum maintenance road that leads up to the farm place of Wayne Kellar (see article here for more details). Little has changed in terms of the county’s decision in June 2012 to demolish the last two spans of the original Dodge City Bridge that was built in 1906 but was relocated once before it was reerected at its current location. In fact, despite the strive to demolish the bridge in favor of a concrete culvert, Mr. Kellar has been striving to save the bridge and put it in his jurisdiction. He recently received some support- in the form of Mother Nature! Flash flooding on August 8th and 13th wiped out the road but the bridge was not touched by the floodwaters, which justified the argument against a culvert or any form of low-water crossings going to his property. Mr. Kellar has started a petition and fund-raising drive to save the bridge, convincing the county to replace a broken pin and do some minor repairs to reopen the structure to private traffic. A link to the petition drive with information on the bridge’s history and possibilities to sign the petition can be found here. The Chronicles will keep you posted on the latest developments with this bridge.

Covered Bridge in Vermont needs reconstruction

Built in the 1870s and spanning the Passumpsic River near the town of Lyndonville, the Sanborn Covered Bridge features one of the rarest examples of a Paddleford Truss bridge, used mainly in covered bridges. Floodwaters caused a portion of the bridge to partially sag and damage to the bridge parts.  A fundraiser drive to restore the bridge and reopen it to pedestrians and cyclists has started with the plan to relocate the bridge onto dry land, restore it and reerect it on new piers. $1.2 million is needed for the project. More information on the project and how you can donate can be found here.

Bridge to be reconstructed after a 70-year absence

Located along the Saale River southeast of Saalfeld in the German state of Thuringia, the Linkenmühlenbrücke near the village of Altenroth was probably the shortest lived bridge built along the river. Built in 1943, the steel girder bridge was in service until it was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945, shortly before Adolf Hitler’s suicide and Germany’s capitulation. For over 67 years, the only way to get from Altenroth to Linkenmühle was with the ferry. The state government is working to restore the crossing and has put 4 million Euros aside to build a bridge and provide easier access to the villages. Most likely, the bridge will be 200-300 meters long and about 20 meters high. Bridge type is unknown at the moment. Despite some scepticism, it appears that the bill will be passed in the coming weeks and work will start on the new crossing by next year, lasting over a year. More details can be found here.

Newsflyer 10 September 2013 Part 1

Bunker Mill Bridge southeast of Kalona, Iowa- victim of arson that occurred on 11 August, 2013 and whose future is in doubt. Photo taken in August 2011

Historic bridge burned with scrappers drooling for money. Another set of historic bridges  destined for scrap metal. Historic icon receives a new icon. A replica of a lost bridge to be built. A pair of historic bridges to be focus of restoration campaign.

While away on hiatus for three weeks, which included the four-day long Historic Bridge Weekend in Iowa, a lot of events unfolded which involved historic bridges. This include a tragedy involving a historic bridge in Iowa whose future is now in doubt. Keeping all this in mind, the Chronicles will feature a summary of the events that are non-related to the Historic Bridge Weekend with the author’s feedback on each of the themes. Links are provided in the text, as usual.

North trestle span in the foreground with the truss span in the background. Photo taken in August 2011

Bunker Mill Bridge burns. Future in doubt.

Spanning the English River southeast of Kalona, this bridge is unique in terms of its appearance. It was built in 1887 by the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio and featured a six-panel iron Pratt through truss bridge with Town Lattice portal bracing with a span of 120 feet long. With the north trestle span being 170 feet long- enough to fit another through truss span- the total length of the bridge is 290 feet. In 1913, the Iowa Bridge Company reinforced the bridge which included the addition of M-frame portal bracing. Closed since 2003, plans were in the making to convert this bridge into a bike trail connecting Richmond and Kalona in Washington County. Sadly, the bridge, which was visited during the Historic Bridge Weekend, was burned on the morning of 12 August, destroying the entire bridge deck. The truss span is still in tact but it is unknown how much damage was done to the superstructure. At the present time, work is being undertaken to determine whether the bridge can be salvaged and relocated. At the same time however, sources have informed the Chronicles and the pontist community that the scrappers are making a bid to obtain the bridge for scrap metal. Police and fire officials are determining the cause of the fire, which is suspected to be caused by arson. The Chronicles has a separate article on this bridge based on the author’s visit to the bridge which will be posted after an interview with organizers trying to save the bridge is done.

Rulo Bridge in Nebraska. Photo taken in August 2011

Two Missouri River Bridges to be demolished. Two to be replaced soon.


If the rate continues its course, there will no longer be any pre-1960 bridges along the Missouri River by the year 2030. Two continuous truss bridges built in 1938 have been replaced and are closed to traffic, despite the 2-year delay because of the Great Flood of 2011 which turned the Missouri River into the Red Sea for 3/4 of the year. Already one of the bridges, the Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge in Fort Atchinson, Kansas, built at the time of the disappearance of the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean, is scheduled to come down beginning 23 September after the tied arch bridge was opened to traffic. The demolition is scheduled to take two months to complete. The Rulo Bridge, which carries US Highway 159 through the Nebraska town of Rulo was rerouted to the new bridge and is now closed awaiting demolition. This may happen at the earliest in the fall but most likely in 2014. The Centennial Bridge in Leavenworth, a two-span tied arch bridge most likely to follow as Missouri and Kansas DOTs are planning on its replacement which will happen in a few years. And finally, a pair of duo continuous Warren truss bridges, the Fairfax Bridge (built in 1935 by the Kansas City Bridge Company) and the Platte Purchase Bridge (built in 1957) in Kansas City are planned to be replaced beginning in 2015. The reason for replacing the US Highway 69 crossing was because of its narrowness.  To know more about the Missouri River Bridges, it will be mentioned in detail in a presentation provided by James Baughn during the Missouri Preservation Conference, which takes place 18-20 September in Booneville. More information can be found here.

Another slab bridge collapses- this time in Illinois

Engineers and politicians are running out of bridge types to condemn in favor of modern bridges. Reason: another concrete bridge has collapsed after a truck rolled across it! This happened near Woodlawn, Illinois on 6 September. Woodlawn is near Mt. Vernon in Jefferson County. The bridge is over 200 feet long and was built in 1977. Fortunately, nobody was hurt when it happened for the structure collapsed right after the truck went across it. Investigators are trying to determine whether the weight of the loaded truck was too much and if a weight limit should have been imposed. This is the second post 1970 bridge that collapsed this year (a 1987 bridge in Missouri collapsed this past July) and has raised questions of whether weight limits should be imposed on all bridges and highways to ensure their prolongitivity and driver safety. But despite the “less is more” mentality that is becoming the norm in society, it will most likely take a few more collapses of modern slab before it get through the heads of the engineers and government agencies that are responsibility for the infrastructure in the US.

Bay Bridge Replacement opens to traffic.

When the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge first opened to traffic in 1936, the eight mile long bridge spanning San Francisco Bay was the longest in the world, with two sets of suspension bridges connecting Yerba Buena Island with San Francisco and a cantilever truss bridge and beam bridge between that island and Oakland. Since 3 September, the Oakland portion of the bridge has been replaced with a cable-stayed suspension bridge and closed to all traffic while cars are travelling on the new span. For those who are not familiar with this portion of the bridge, it was that particular bridge which partially collapsed during the Earthquake of 1989, the one that killed over 300 people, caused the double-decker Nemitz Freeway in Oakland to collapse and brought the World Series at Candlestick Park to a halt. A person videotaped the bridge and a car falling into the collapsed portion of the bridge. A link can be found here.  The bridge collapse prompted notions to replace that portion of the Bay Bridge and bring the suspension bridge portion up to earthquake proof standards, together with the Golden Gate Bridge. 24 years later, they got their wish with a cable-stayed suspension bridge made using steel made in China. This is still sparking a debate on whether Chinese steel has as high quality as American steel, especially as several flaws were discovered while building the Oakland portion of the bridge, which included broken bolts and anchors holding the stayed cables. Despite the bridge being a remarkable landmark that will surely be documented in 50 year’s time, especially with the statue found at the island, it is questionable of whether $4 billion was necessary to build the bridge or if it would have made sense to rehabilitate the cantilever bridge. This includes the cost and time it will be needed to demolish that bridge, which will commence sometime next year.

With all the bad news involving bridges in the US, there are some drives to save historic bridges with one being replicated after a 70 year absence. More in part 2 of the Chronicles’ Newsflyer.

 

Iowa Transportation Heritage Quiz II: The answers to the historic bridge questions

Plant growing between the planks of the Ft. Atkinson Bridge in Winneshiek County, closed for over five years and its future in question. Photo taken in August 2013

After providing the answers and some interesting facts about Iowa’s transportation heritage yesterday, part II features the answers to the questions dealing with the history of Iowa’s bridges, the state’s bridge builders and the engineers who left their mark in the state. Without commenting any further, here they are!

The Kate Shelley Viaduct, located in Boone was named after a girl who was famous for this heroic deed?
She stopped a train from falling into a flooded creek
She rescued the brakeman and engineer from the train that had fallen into a flooded creek
Both a & b -> both deeds occurred on the same night in 1881. She later became station agent for the train station in Moingona, the site west of where Kate crawled across the Des Moines River bridge and where the bridge was washed away and the train fell into the creek.
She became president of the Chicago and Northwestern Railways.

Where was the first railroad bridge built over the Mississippi River located?
Dubuque
Keokuk
Quad Cities -> The wooden Howe through truss bridge was completed in 1856 and was located in Moline, at the site of the present-day Arsenal Bridge
Burlington

Which of the following Iowa communities did NOT have a bridge building company
Okoboji -> Okoboji was a tourist community and never had a bridge builder
Ottumwa
Oskaloosa
Des Moines

The Melan Arch Bridge, located in Rock Rapids, was the first of its kind to be built using reinforced steel rods. Its designer and inventor Josef Melan originated from which European country?
Austria -> Melan originated and spent his life in Vienna. His student, Frederik von Emperger, who built the bridge in 1894 originated from Bohemia.
Bohemia (now Czech Republic)
Prussia (now part of Germany)
France

Zenas King, who built many bridges in Iowa under the name King Bridge Company in the 1880s and 90s had a nephew (not son), George, who started his own bridge building business in which Iowa community?
Council Bluffs
Corning
Des Moines -> George E. King established this business in 1889 and ran it until ca. the 1930s
Davenport

Note: Zenas King did have a son who took over his business after his death in 1892. James A. King was president of the company from 1894 until his death in 1922. The company ceased operations within a year after his death and with that a 50+ year family-owned business where many of Zenas’ children and extended family members were all part of the business. More information can be found here.

Which bridge type was not developed and experimented in Iowa?
Kellogg Truss
Thacher Truss
Marsh Arch
Pratt truss  -> First patented in 1844 two years before Iowa was established as a state.

Iowa was the first state in the country and the first in the world to invent and construct this bridge type?
Bowstring arch bridge made of steel
Steel girder bridge made of aluminum -> It was built in 1958 over I-35/80 at 86th Street in Urbandale. Served traffic until its replacement in 1994.
Parker truss bridge made of metal
Marsh arch bridge using recycled concrete

Edwin Thacher patented the first Thacher truss bridge, a bridge with an A-frame in the center panel, in 1884, and the first bridge of its kind was built where?
Independence -> Built in 1884 to serve rail traffic over the Wapsipinicon River.
Rockford
Estherville
Lake Park
Which Iowa river has the most number of steel railroad viaducts in the state
Big Sioux River
Little Sioux River
Skunk River
Des Moines River -> as many as 10 railroad viaducts still cross the river today, including the Kate Shelley, Ft. Dodge, Armstrong and Madrid Viaducts. The Kate Shelley and Ft. Dodge Viaducts are the longest and second longest along the river, respectively.
 Which Iowa bridge builder later made a career as a school board president?
A.H. Austin  -> He was active in the Webster City school council including his tenure as president.
Lawrence Johnson
George E. King
James Marsh

Author’s note:Another Iowa bridge quiz is in the making and will come soon. This one will deal with bridges that are part of the author’s book project on Iowa’s truss bridges and their history.  But before going to that, we have to catch up on some bridge headlines that happened during the Chronicles’ hiatus.

Iowa Transportation Heritage Quiz I: The Answers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a short delay due to non-bridge related commitments that were very important, I’m sure all of you have taken the Guessing Quiz that I posted prior to the Historic Bridge Weekend in August on Iowa’s transportation heritage as well as the state’s bridges. I’m also certain that all of you are eager to know the answers to the questions as well. You don’t have to wait any longer, as the answers to the questions can be found here in this posting for transportation heritage and in the next posting for the state’s historic bridges. Have a look at what you have and compare it to what the answers actually are. After looking at them, you can bet that you will learn something new and be a bit smarter than you were before. Please feel free to share your facts with others who may beg to differ or would like to know more about Iowa and its rich history. 🙂

How many Interstate Highways pass through Iowa after 1985?
3
5
7
8 -> I-29, I-35, I-74, I-80, I-280, I-380, I-680, I-235

When was the No Passing Zone sign, now a common site on America’s highways, first introduced in Iowa?
1954
1958 -> The NPZ signs were placed along US Hwy. 30 between Clinton and the Missouri River in Harrison County.
1960
1963

Which of the two highways that meet in Iowa were named after US Presidents?
Washington and Jefferson
Lincoln and Roosevelt
Lincoln and Jefferson -> The Lincoln Highway, which connected New York City and San Francisco, and the Jefferson Highway which connected Minneapolis and New Orleans meet in Iowa in the small town of Colo in Story County.
Lincoln and Reagan

Which of the highways in Iowa was the oldest?
Lincoln Highway -> 1913
Jefferson Highway     (1915)
Avenue of the Saints   (1998)
Blue Grass Road    (1924)

Which city had the oldest concrete street in the state (and second oldest in the US)
Bellefountain
Decorah
Mt. Pleasant
LeMars -> Eagle Street (later named 1st Ave. SW) was paved in 1904

The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were the first to invent the power driven airplane plane and made their first flight in Kitty Hawk in 1903. Their parents originated from which Iowa community?
Cedar Rapids -> Milton and Susan Wright resided in Cedar Rapids between 1878 and 1881
Keokuk
Spirit Lake
Mt. Vernon

The Rules of the Road program, first introduced in 1904, was amended to include the minimum driving age. When could a person start driving at that time?
14
15 -> correct answer
16
17

The first 24-hour Truck Permit center in the country was established by the Iowa DOT in which year?
1976 -> correct answer
1995
2001
2013

At the same time as the answer to nr. 8, Iowa DOT became the first in the country to develop what concept?
Developing logo signing
Producing fast-track paving
Recycle concrete -> The first pavement was produced using recycled Portland concrete.
Curb removal

Iowa’s interurban railroads, featuring electrified trolleys existed between 1920 and 1970. How many lines existed during that era?
5
8  -> Tama-Toledo;  Cedar Rapids- Iowa City; Des Moines and Central; Des Moines and Southern, Ft. Dodge, Waterloo, Charles City Western, Mason City-Clear Lake and Southern Iowa
13
20