It may sound like a scam, ("If you believe that, I've got some prime swampland in Florida I could sell ya!") but this is very real.
The Iowa Department of Transportation has been monitoring the state's bridges and when they find issues, depending on what problems are found, they schedule each bridge for reconstruction, demolition and rebuild, or they sell it!
Yes, you may be able to own a historic Iowa bridge! To more truthfully explain, when there are sections of bridges that have to be replaced, that section is taken out and it has to go somewhere. It's now available for relocation to your yard, a creek on your property, or whatever you choose to do with it. You must submit a proposal to explain what you want to do with it and it has to be approved by the DOT and local transportation partners.
There are some funds that may be available to help with the relocation or adoption of these segments of historic bridges, but that is also approved on a case-by-case basis through TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program). For the use of these funds, one must go to IDOT Systems Planning to submit information, but these funds are allocated on a competitive basis, so they are not guaranteed. All applicants are expected to already know TAP requirements and be ready to show and verify what will be done with that section of bridge.
Right now, there are 4 bridges or sections that are available.
Boone River Bridge in Wright County was built in 1912 with steel from Pittsburgh. It's a Rigid-Connected Warren Pony Truss bridge which was new for the time, replacing pinned Pratt configurations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information.
Hardin City Bridge in Hardin County is another that is up for grabs. This Pin-Connected Whipple Through Truss was built in 1879 and is eligible for National Register of Historic Places status. Hardin County Board of Supervisors talked with county citizens about the right of way for a bridge over the Iowa River at Hardin City. Then they took bids for construction, which went to Western Bridge Company of Ft. Wayne, Indiana with wrought iron components produced by the Passaic Rolling Mills of Paterson, New Jersey. To get more information, email email@example.com.
The Black Hawk Bridge in Allamakee County at Lansing is an amazingly beautiful old bridge. Also known as Lansing Bridge, it was built between 1929-1931 by McClintic-Marshall Company of Chicago and christened the Black Hawk Bridge to honor the famous Indian Chief Black Hawk. This bridge is historical and unique as it's the first passenger bridge to connect Iowa and Wisconsin. It's one of only five such long-span, cantilevered trusses in Iowa. Email Brennan.firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like more info!
Another eligible bridge for National Register of Historic Places status, the Eastbound U.S. 30 bridge, built in 1953, the Iowa Bridge Company of Des Moines won the contract and built it in exactly one year. It's a large bridge of exceptional overall length as it crosses the river at a rather wide area, it's 1140 feet in length with 8 spans. If you're interested in repurposing this bridge, email Matt.Donovan@iowadot.us.
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