Friday, June 20, 2014

Keokuk Municipal Bridge

Just downstream of Lock #19 on the Mississippi is a 3800 foot long bridge with a swing span of 380 feet (Wikipedia, Bridge Hunter, Facebook). John Weeks III indicates that the original 1870 bridge was one of the first 15 bridges built across the Mississippi. When constructed in 1915-16 using the piers of the 1870 bridge, it carried a railroad as a through truss and a road, US-136, as a deck truss. In 1985, a 4-lane road bridge just downstream from this bridge opened, and the west end of the old road bridge became an observation deck. Below is a view from the Iowa side of the downstream elevation.

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In the following closeup of the Iowa side, the upper deck on the left is now the observation deck. Note the old stone wall for the railroad approach.

 

I got a view of the upstream elevation when I got lost looking for the observation deck.


Flood of 2019
Screenshot @ -0:15
Flood water almost to the Keokuk’s railroad bridge!

This is where I should have turned for the observation deck. The little building is the old toll booth. And the old road is now a parking lot for the deck.


A view of the swing span from the end of the observation deck.


A close up of the gear reduction train and the top of the drum.


Unfortunately, the lock blocks the view of the rollers and rack at the bottom of the drum. But the HAER has a picture of the foundation of the drum.

After I came back from the van to get my 55-200mm lens for a closeup of Dam #19, I was excited to see that the span had closed. First of all, that meant the bridge was still used for trains. And secondly, it meant that one should be coming.






Of course, I was disappointed that I missed the closing. But Steve Conro caught the closing of the bridge on video. So I went back down and got another downstream elevation shot with the span closed.


 A westbound covered-hopper train did arrive 27 minutes later. Jeffrey Dobek also caught a westbound tank-car train, probably for corn syrup, on the bridge; and Matthew Chapman caught an eastbound covered-hopper train. The KJRY services a corn syrup plant in Keokuk twice a day, 365 days a year. So that would explain covered-hopper cars carrying corn and tank cars carrying syrup.

Update: Keokuk, Iowa Historians posted five images with the comment:
THE BRIDGES OF KEOKUK, IOWA
1871-1916
Keokuk's First Bridge
After the 1865 close of the Civil War, the businessmen of both Keokuk & Hamilton, Illinois began to believe that expansion of both cities could be accomplished by bringing rail traffic through the area.
For the next three years, The leading businessmen & politicians of both cities met often to lay out plans to bring the railroads here.
In December, 1868 these men established the Keokuk - Hamilton Mississippi Bridge Company to raise capital to build a railroad bridge across the river
On January 19, 1869 The Keokuk - Hamilton Mississippi Bridge Company entered into contracts with the Indiana Central Company, the Peoria Company, the Des Moines Company, and a fourth railroad company, (the Toledo, Wabash & Western Railway Company,) whose railroad connected with the bridge at Hamilton. By that contract the Bridge Company agreed to begin to construct forthwith across the Mississippi river, at Keokuk, and to complete by January 1, 1870, 'a substantial wrought-iron bridge, suitable for the running of railway trains;' 'to lay a track upon said bridge, and connect the same with railways belonging to the parties hereto, in such manner, and at such points, as may hereafter be agreed upon;' and 'to maintain and keep in repair in perpetuity the said bridge and tracks, so that trains may safely cross at all times, except when repairs make it necessary that crossing should be temporarily suspended, or when it shall be necessary to have the draw open for the passage of boats;' and granted to those four railroad companies, in perpetuity, the right to use the bridge for the purpose of passing their trains across the Mississippi river; and they agreed to pay monthly stipulated rates for the transportation of passengers and freight, and, if the gross amount of the rates for freight for any year should fall below the sum of $80,000, making up the deficiency, each of the four railroad companies contributing in proportion to the tonnage passed by it over the bridge; for which, by a subsequent modification of the contract in June, 1871, was substituted one-fourth of such deficiency.
This was to be the first combination roadway and railway bridge built across the Mississippi River. The construction contact was awarded to the Keystone Bridge Company of Pittsburgh which was one of Andrew Carnegie's first business ventures at a cost of $850,000.
Carnegie invested heavily in stock of the Keokuk-Hamilton Mississippi Bridge Company & became its president. Of course steel from Carnegie's steel mills was used in its construction
The new "Iron Bridge" furnished another link for commerce between east and west and for freight and immigration. It was said that this bridge was one of the wonders of the nineteenth century - at least to the people of Keokuk. The total length of the bridge was 3800 feet and accommodated railroad cars, horse and wagon teams, and foot passengers.
Keokuk was the terminus of five different railroads: the Toledo, Wabash & Western, the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw, the Keokuk & St. Louis, the Keokuk & St. Paul, and the Des Moines Valley Railroad. A locomotive named the "Iowa" was the first to cross the Keokuk - Hamilton Bridge on April 19, 1871. The bridge was opened to the public on June 14, 1871.
On the night of Friday, November 4, 1881, the steamboat War Eagle crashed into the bridge taking out one span of it. This span was temporarily replaced by a covered wooden span.
When the steel span was replaced, the wooden span was disassembled, numbered & rebuilt on the Hamilton side over the old dike road. Most of you would remember it as the covered bridge on the old Illinois approach to the bridge, It was destroyed in a 1969 act of arson.
Shortly after the turn of the 20th Century, the growing popularity of the automobile began to cause grumblings of dissatisfaction with the old bridge & its safety.
After the lock & dam was completed here in 1913, several of the Keokuk & Hamilton businessmen proposed running the railroad traffic across the top of the Dam to separate the traffic for safer conditions. They formed the Inter-City Bridge Company after appeals to Andrew Carnegie to rehab the current bridge were rebuffed, and took their cause to Washington D.C. where they gained approval to run the rails over the dam In 1914.
Seeing no other choice, Carnegie, still controlling the major shares of the Keokuk-Hamilton Mississippi Bridge Company, relented & agreed to rebuild the old bridge.
This process was begun in 1915 & the new double deck bridge opened to traffic on August 17, 1916.

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Keokuk, Iowa Historians posted
Keokuk, Iowa Historians Vintage Photo Archive
Circa 1873
ORIGINAL KEOKUK - HAMILTON BRIDGE OVER THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Were it still standing today the original Railroad & Wagon bridge over the Mississippi would have been 148 years old this month, its construction was completed on Tuesday, April 11, 1871.
1871-1916
Keokuk's First Bridge
After the 1865 close of the Civil War, the businessmen of both Keokuk & Hamilton, Illinois began to believe that expansion of both cities could be accomplished by bringing rail traffic through the area.
For the next three years, The leading businessmen & politicians of both cities met often to lay out plans to bring the railroads here.
In December, 1868 these men established the Keokuk - Hamilton Mississippi Bridge Company to raise capital to build a railroad bridge across the river
On January 19, 1869 The Keokuk - Hamilton Mississippi Bridge Company entered into contracts with the Indiana Central Company, the Peoria Company, the Des Moines Company, and a fourth railroad company, (the Toledo, Wabash & Western Railway Company,) whose railroad connected with the bridge at Hamilton. By that contract the Bridge Company agreed to begin to construct forthwith across the Mississippi river, at Keokuk, and to complete by January 1, 1870, 'a substantial wrought-iron bridge, suitable for the running of railway trains;' 'to lay a track upon said bridge, and connect the same with railways belonging to the parties hereto, in such manner, and at such points, as may hereafter be agreed upon;' and 'to maintain and keep in repair in perpetuity the said bridge and tracks, so that trains may safely cross at all times, except when repairs make it necessary that crossing should be temporarily suspended, or when it shall be necessary to have the draw open for the passage of boats;' and granted to those four railroad companies, in perpetuity, the right to use the bridge for the purpose of passing their trains across the Mississippi river; and they agreed to pay monthly stipulated rates for the transportation of passengers and freight, and, if the gross amount of the rates for freight for any year should fall below the sum of $80,000, making up the deficiency, each of the four railroad companies contributing in proportion to the tonnage passed by it over the bridge; for which, by a subsequent modification of the contract in June, 1871, was substituted one-fourth of such deficiency.
The first pier stone was laid on Thursday, August 12, 1869
This was to be the first combination roadway and railway bridge built across the Mississippi River. The construction contact was awarded to the Keystone Bridge Company of Pittsburgh which was one of Andrew Carnegie's first business ventures at a cost of $850,000.
Carnegie invested heavily in stock of the Keokuk-Hamilton Mississippi Bridge Company & became its president. Of course steel from Carnegie's steel mills was used in its construction
The new "Iron Bridge" furnished another link for commerce between east and west and for freight and immigration. It was said that this bridge was one of the wonders of the nineteenth century - at least to the people of Keokuk. The total length of the bridge was 3800 feet and accommodated railroad cars, horse and wagon teams, and foot passengers.
Keokuk was the terminus of five different railroads: the Toledo, Wabash & Western, the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw, the Keokuk & St. Louis, the Keokuk & St. Paul, and the Des Moines Valley Railroad. A locomotive named the "Iowa" was the first to cross the Keokuk - Hamilton Bridge on April 11, 1871. The bridge was opened to the public on June 14, 1871.
On the night of Friday, November 4, 1881, the steamboat War Eagle crashed into the bridge taking out one span of it. This span was temporarily replaced by a covered wooden span.
When the steel span was replaced, the wooden span was disassembled, numbered & rebuilt on the Hamilton side over the old dike road. Most of you would remember it as the covered bridge on the old Illinois approach to the bridge, It was destroyed in a 1969 act of arson.
Shortly after the turn of the 20th Century, the growing popularity of the automobile began to cause grumblings of dissatisfaction with the old bridge & its safety.
After the lock & dam was completed here in 1913, several of the Keokuk & Hamilton businessmen proposed running the railroad traffic across the top of the Dam to separate the traffic for safer conditions. They formed the Inter-City Bridge Company after appeals to Andrew Carnegie to rehab the current bridge were rebuffed, and took their cause to Washington D.C. where they gained approval to run the rails over the dam In 1914.
Seeing no other choice, Carnegie, still controlling the major shares of the Keokuk-Hamilton Mississippi Bridge Company, relented & agreed to rebuild the old bridge.
This process was begun in 1915 & the new double deck bridge opened to traffic on August 17, 1916.

Same post
There were wagon lanes on the right side of the rail tracks for walking & wagons & then cars when the automobile came along. All foot & vehicle traffic was stopped when a train was expected to cross. There were bridge guards/toll takers posted on either side to stop vehicles & pedestrians when a train was scheduled. this photo shows the wagon lane, at the Keokuk side.

Keokuk, Iowa Historians cover photo
Dale A. Fox shared a Keokuk, Iowa Historians post of three images with the comment:
Keokuk, Iowa Mississippi River Bridge History
148 Years Ago
Tuesday, April 11, 1871
EXCURSION TRAIN IS FIRST ON NEW KEOKUK AND HAMILTON BRIDGE
On this date, 148 years ago tonight at 10:00 PM, an excursion train, led by the locomotive "Iowa", left the Keokuk riverfront to cross over the newly completed Keokuk And Hamilton Bridge
Keokuk was the terminus of five different railroads: the Toledo, Wabash & Western, the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw, the Keokuk & St. Louis, the Keokuk & St. Paul, and the Des Moines Valley Railroad. A locomotive named the "Iowa" was the first to cross the Keokuk - Hamilton Bridge on April 11, 1871. The bridge was opened to the public on May 14, 1871.

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The first of seventeen photos posted by Matt McClure and taken in 1979. The new road bridge was not built until 1985.
Photo by MKM.
[This must be the Illinois side.]

Pray Lawson posted two photos with the comment: "westbound KJRY coming into keokuk Today [May 21, 2021]."
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One of four photos posted by Robert Daly
The Keokuk Junction (ex TP&W) bridge over the Mississippi at Keokuk, April 12 2013. The upper deck was a highway until replacement by the bridge to the right. It's open as a pedestrian walkway up to the swing span. The swing span crosses Lock and Dam 19 as well as BNSF's line to Burlington. (edited to add photo of open swing span for barges passing thru the lock.)









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