Historic Auto Trails

SPECIAL ROUTE AND BRIDGE DESIGNATIONS

Iowa law currently permits special signs to be placed along the Primary Highway System for the purpose of designating a primary highway or bridge as a memorial highway/bridge, scenic trail or historic trail.

Rules 761-131.10 through 131.15(321) in the Iowa Administrative Code establish the requirements and procedures for special sign placement. These rules are administered by the Iowa DOT and the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.




Special Designation BRIDGES

Officer Philip J. Adams Memorial Bridges
In November 2012, the Interstate 29 bridges that overpass U.S. 30 in the city of Missouri Valley were named the "Officer Philip J. Adams Memorial Bridges" in memory of Officer Philip Joseph Adams, who was killed in the line of duty.


Allen Neiland Memorial Bridge
(WB and EB bridges), located in Johnson County on I-80 at milepost 243, over the Iowa River (memorialized through signs posted in 2012). Iowa State Patrol Trooper Allen Patrick Nieland died in the line of duty Oct. 14, 1990. Nieland was killed when his Cessna 172 patrol plane crashed as he was assisting other troopers in locating a robbery suspect. He located the suspect and was flying above him when the aircraft suddenly nose-dived into the ground. The suspect was apprehended and charged with vehicular homicide in connection with Nieland’s death. Nieland served with the Iowa State Patrol for eight years.


Baker Bridge
On July 31, 2010, the Interstate 280 bridge connecting Iowa and Illinois was dedicated and renamed the Baker Bridge in honor of Medal of Honor recipient John F. Baker Jr.


Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, opened Sept. 28, 2008, and is one of the longest pedestrian bridges ever built. The total length of the bridge is 3,000 feet and the towers carry a unique curved 506-foot main span and two 253-foot back spans.


Centennial Bridge
The Centennial Bridge, or Rock Island Centennial Bridge, connects Rock Island, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa.


Charles Whitney Memorial Bridge
(NB and SB), located in Black Hawk County on I-380 at milepost 71, over the Cedar River (memorialized through signs posted in 2012).Iowa State Patrol Trooper Charles Gerald Whitney died in the line of duty on June 16, 1985; he was struck by a vehicle and killed while making a traffic stop on I-380. He was handing the driver a ticket through the driver’s side window when another vehicle, whose driver had fallen asleep, struck him. Whitney served with the Iowa State Patrol for 24 years.


Douglas King Memorial Expressway
On Oct. 20, 2012, the U.S. 61 bypass in Muscatine (from the intersection with Grandview Avenue on the south end to the intersection with Iowa 38 on the north end) was officially named the Douglas King Memorial Expressway in honor of Charles Douglas "Doug" King, a Muscatine native who was killed during the Vietnam War while attempting to rescue a downed pilot.


Edna M. Griffin Memorial Bridge
Pedestrian bridge over I-235 in downtown Des Moines near the Des Moines Botanical Center, dedicated in the name of the civil rights activist Edna Griffin.


Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge
The Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge is a 4-lane steel girder bridge that carries Interstate 80 across the Mississippi River between Le Claire, IA and Rapids City, Ill.


General Edward Hatch Bridge
Located on U.S. 169 (U.S. 6) in Dallas County at milepost 84.29, over the South Raccoon River (memorialized May 2010 by posting two 30” x 24” signs). Colonel and Brevet Major General Edward Hatch (Dec. 22, 1832-April 11, 1889) was a career American soldier who served as a general in the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, he became the first commander of the 9th Cavalry Regiment, a Buffalo soldier regiment with African-American troops commanded by white officers. He also commanded the 2nd Iowa Cavalry.


General Elliott Rice and Samuel Rice Bridge
Located on U.S. 6 in Dallas County at milepost 115.88, over the North Raccoon River (memorialized May 2010 by posting two 30” x 24” signs). Major General Elliott Warren Rice (Nov. 16, 1935-June 22, 1887), served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He joined the 7th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment as a corporal. He was appointed to the brevet rank of major general for war service dating from March 13, 1865. He died in Sioux City, Iowa, and is buried in the Floyd Cemetery. Brigadier General Samuel Allen Rice (Jan. 27, 1828-July 6, 1864) lived in Mahaska County, Iowa, where he practiced law, was the county attorney and state attorney general (1856-1861). In the Civil War he was a colonel in the 33rd regiment of Iowa. On April 30, 1864 he was mortally wounded at Jenkins’ Ferry, Arkansas; he died in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and was interned at Forest Cemetery. He was the brother of Elliott Warren Rice.


General Grenville Dodge Bridge
Located on U.S. 6 westbound in Pottawattamie County at milepost 0, over the Missouri River (memorialized May 2010 by posting one 30” x 24” sign in the westbound lanes). Major General Grenville Mellen Dodge (April 12, 1831-Jan. 3, 1916), was a Union Army officer on the frontier during the Civil War, a U.S. Congressman, businessman and executive who helped construct the Transcontinental Railroad. He died in Council Bluffs, Iowa.


General James Williamson Bridge
Located on U.S. 6 in Pottawattamie County at milepost 26.95, over the West Nishnabotna River (memorialized May 2010 by posting two 30” x 24” signs). Brigadier General James Alexander Williamson (Feb. 8, 1829-Sept. 7, 1902), was a politician and lawyer who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou. He commanded the 4th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment.


General John Corse Bridge
Located on U.S. 6 in Johnson County at milepost 252.21, over the Iowa River (memorialized May 2010 by posting two 30” x 24” signs). Brigadier General John Murray Corse (April 27, 1835-April 27, 1893) was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Burlington, Iowa, at age seven. His father, John Lockwood Corse, served six terms as the major of that town. The joined the 5th Iowa Infantry as a major in July 1861. General Corse is best known for his role in the Battle of Allatoona in October 1861. Corse later moved to Massachusetts and was appointed Postmaster of Boston. He married the grandniece of U.S. President Franklin Pierce.


General Marcellus Crocker Bridge
Located on U.S. 6 in Polk County, milepost 135.19, over the Des Moines River (memorialized May 2010 by posting two 30” x 24” signs). Brigadier General Marcellus Monroe Crocker (Feb. 6, 1830-Aug.26, 1865) was a general in the Union Army during the Civil War, most noted for his service in the Western Theater.


General Samuel Curtis Bridge
Located on U.S. 6 in Cass County at milepost 45.41, over the East Nishnabotna River (memorialized May 2010 by posting two 30” x 24” signs). Brigadier General Samuel Ryan Curtis (Feb. 3, 1805-Dec. 26, 1866) figured largely in Missouri’s Civil War history. Following the war, Curtis was chief engineer at both Keokuk and St. Louis, distinguishing himself in river improvements and railroad promotion. He was elected mayor of Keokuk in the spring of 1856, and in the fall won election as the Republican candidate for Iowa’s First Congressional District. He was reelected in 1858 and 1860. In Congress he chaired a committee planning the Union Pacific Railroad. Curtis died in Council Bluffs, Iowa, following an inspection trip of the railroad’s construction.


General William Vandever Bridge
Located on U.S. 6 in Cedar County at milepost 276.87, over the Cedar River (memorialized May 2010 by posting two 30” x 24” signs). Bevet Major General William Vandever (March 31, 1817-July 23, 1893) was a U.S. Representative from California and Iowa, and general in the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1861, Vandever was mustered into the Union Army as colonel of the 9th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Later in life he resumed practice of law in Dubuque and was appointed U.S. Indian inspector by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1873.


Government Bridge
The Government Bridge, or Arsenal Bridge, spans the Mississippi River connecting Rock Island, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa. It is adjacent to Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 15.


Harold DeGear Memorial Bridge
(NB and SB bridges), located in Johnson County on I-380 at milepost 8, over the Iowa River (memorialized through signs posted in 2012). Iowa State Highway Patrol Patrolman Harold Clarence DeGear died in the line of duty Feb. 19, 1954. DeGear was killed when he was crushed between his patrol car and another car during a traffic stop in Cedar Rapids. As he wrote a ticket to the driver of the vehicle he had stopped, another vehicle attempted to pass a truck and struck the rear of Trooper DeGear’s patrol car. DeGear was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries the next day. DeGear was a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran of both WWII and the Korean War. He served with the Iowa State Highway Patrol for 6 ½ years.


Harold Klinkefus Memorial Bridge
(EB and WB), located in Montgomery County on U.S. 34 at milepost 35, over the Nishnabotna River (memorialized through signs posted in 2012). Iowa State Patrol Patrolman Harold Emmerson Klinkefus died in the line of duty on May 18, 1949. He was killed in an automobile accident when his cruiser was struck by a tractor trailer on U.S. 34 near Red Oak. Another car attempted to turn left and the truck attempted to stop suddenly to avoid a collision. The truck jack-knifed and struck the side of Klinkefus’ car, causing him to be ejected. Klinkefus had served with the Iowa State Patrol for six years.


Iowa-Illinois Memorial bridges
The I-74 bridges in the Quad Cities are officially designated as the Iowa-Illinois Memorial bridges. The oldest bridge was dedicated November 18, 1935, to honor veterans of World War I. In addition, a monument to veterans is located near the footing of the bridge in Bill Glynn Park, which is considered an integral part of the bridge for veterans.

The I-74 bridges will eventually be replaced with a new structure. Preliminary planning and design work is underway. The Iowa DOT has already received comments from the public regarding an interest in having the new structure named in honor of our veterans. The I-74 bridges are jointly owned and maintained by the Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation, so any future naming decisions must be jointly made.


Julien Dubuque Bridge
The Julien Dubuque Bridge is a continuous steel-arch truss bridge with a suspended deck that traverses the Mississippi River. It joins the cities of Dubuque, Iowa, and East Dubuque, Ill.


Lance Dietsch Memorial Bridge
(NB and SB), located in Cass County on U.S. 6 at milepost 43, over Indian Creek (memorialized through signs posted in 2012). Iowa State Patrol Pilot Lance G. Dietsch died in the line of duty on June 30, 1989; he was involved in an aircraft accident. Dietsch and Trooper Stanley Gerling were killed while searching for an elderly man who had wandered off. They were about to call off the search when they located him in a soybean field. They began circling the area when the plane made a sudden turn and crashed vertically into the ground. He had served with the Iowa State Patrol for six years.


Mark Toney Memorial Bridge
(NB and SB), located in Warren County on U.S. 65 at milepost 56, over the South River (memorialized through signs posted in 2012). Iowa State Patrol Tooper Mark Edward Toney died in the line of duty on Sept. 20, 2011. He was killed in an automobile crash on U.S. 65/69, south of Indianola. He was traveling with emergency equipment activated when the patrol car left the roadway and overturned several times, landing in a field. The vehicle burst into flames. The crash investigation determined Toney’s patrol car was traveling approximately 115 mph when it left the roadway. Toney served with the Iowa State Patrol for 24 years.


Marvin VanderLinden Memorial Bridge
(EB and WB bridges), located in Polk County on I-80 at milepost 133, over the Des Moines River (memorialized through signs posted in 2012). Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Marvin C. VanderLinden died in the line of duty on June 11, 1965, in an automobile accident while responding to another accident call. VanderLinden served with the Iowa State Patrol for 24 years.


Oran Pape Memorial Bridge
(EB and WB bridges), located in Cedar County on I-80 at milepost 266, over the Cedar River (memorialized through signs posted in 2012). Iowa State Highway Patrol Patrolman Oran Henry Pape died in the line of duty April 30, 1936. Pape was shot and killed while struggling with a suspect who had abducted him during a traffic stop on U.S. 61 near Fairport. Pape had stopped the vehicle, suspecting it was stolen. As he approached the car, the driver pointed a gun at him and told him to get into the vehicle. As they drove away, Pape grabbed the drive and began to struggle with him. During the struggle, two shot were fired; one struck Pape in the abdomen and groin, and the other struck the suspect in the head, killing him instantly. Pape was able to summon help and was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds the next day. Pape served with the Iowa State Highway Patrol for one year.


Ralph Garthwaite Memorial Bridge
(EB and WB), located in Harrison County on U.S. 30 at milepost 34, over Boyer River (memorialized through signs posted in 2012). Iowa State Patrol Patrolman Ralph Franklin Garthwaite died in the line of duty on July 2, 1955. He was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on by a drunk driver on U.S. 30. The incident occurred on a bridge as Garthwaite travelled northbound toward Dunlap. The suspect was charged with manslaughter; but a jury found him innocent Nov. 30, 1956. Garthwaite had served on the Iowa State Patrol for three years.


Rider Way Pedestrian Bridge
The Rider Way Pedestrian Bridge over I-235 near 44th Street in Des Moines was officially dedicated Friday, April 7, 2006. Roosevelt High School and the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted a ceremonial ribbon cutting and plaque unveiling at the north end of the bridge that morning.


Stanley Gerling Memorial Bridge
(NB and SB), located in Cass County on U.S. 6 at milepost 45, over Turkey Creek (memorialized through signs posted in 2012). Iowa State Patrol Trooper Stanley E. Gerling died in the line of duty on June 30, 1989; he was involved in an aircraft accident. Gerling and Trooper Pilot Lance Dietsch were searching for an elderly man who had wandered off. They were about to call off the search when they spotted him a soybean field. They began to circle the area when the plane made a sudden turn and crashed vertically into the ground. Gerling served with the Iowa State Patrol for one year.


Veterans Memorial Bridgee
U.S. 275/Iowa 92 bridge over the Missouri River in Council Bluffs.


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Special Designation Routes

34th Infantry Division Highway
U.S. 34 in the state of Iowa is officially designated the Red Bull Highway in honor of the 34th Infantry (Red Bull) Division.


Amana Colonies Trail
This circular route follows U.S. 6, U.S. 151 and Iowa 220 through the Amana Colonies. It is marked with rectangular brown signs with the name of the route in white text.


Cody Trail
A new 26-mile trail appeared in northern Scott County, birthplace of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, during the spring of 1999. It follows:

  • Scott County Road Y-64 between Eldridge and Long Grove
  • Scott County Road F-41 between Long Grove and Park View
  • Scott Park Road (old U.S. 61), 290th Street (St. Ann's Road), Scott County Road Z-16 and F-33 between Park View and McCausland
  • Scott County Road Z-30 and F-51 between McCausland and U.S. 67 at Le Claire

Dragoon Trail
Dragoon Trail, in the Des Moines River valley, commemorates the path of the 1835 U.S. Dragoons (the country's first mounted infantry unit). It starts with two branches originating from Fort Dodge and Webster City that join near Stratford; from there it runs through Boone and Des Moines to the Red Rock Dam between Pella and Knoxville.


Dvorak Memorial Highway
Year established: 1928. In the summer of 1993 this former auto trail in northeast Iowa, named for Czech-born musician Antonin Dvorak, was resurrected with new signage. It begins at the Minnesota state line and follows Howard County Road V-58 through Cresco to Protivin, where it follows Winneshiek County Road B-16 (including the former Iowa 325) through Spillville and U.S. 52 to its southern end in Calmar.


Dwight D. Eisenhower System of National Defense Highways
The information in this Web site is an update of the Route Log and Finder List for the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate System, published in March 2001.


George P. Soumas Memorial Highway
From a joint effort of cities along Iowa 141 between Granger and Perry the roadway was renamed to the George P. Soumas Memorial Highway.


Grand Army of the Republic Highway
U.S. 6 was a 505-mile highway from Chicago to Council Bluffs. View details.


Hiawatha Pioneer Trail
This meandering route through Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois was designated in September 1963 at a four-state governors' conference in Amana. The trail in Iowa splits into north and south routes in Toledo before they rejoin in Davenport. Both branches were marked on state highway maps from the mid-1960s through 1975.


Laura Ingalls Wilder
Routing: U.S. 14 west of Rochester, Minn., U.S. 52 south of Rochester, U.S. 63 north of Rochester. This highway connects four towns where the author Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up: De Smet, S.D.; Walnut Grove, Minn.; Burr Oak, Iowa; and Pepin, Wis.


Leo P. Rooff Expressway - U.S. 218 in Waterloo
The following are excerpts from Rooff's obituary published, Jan. 6, 2004, highlighting his career and noting the reasons for the dedication of this roadway in his name.


Lincoln Highway
If you travel U.S. 30 across Iowa, you are never very far away from the Lincoln Highway, if not right on top of it. As much as 85 percent of the original highway is still drivable in the Hawkeye State, although some of it is gravel.


MacVicar Freeway
Officially, the name of the Des Moines freeway is "Interstate Highway 235." However, it was designated in the 1960s as the John MacVicar Freeway by the Des Moines City Council. The plan to name the new freeway the John MacVicar Freeway was first suggested in 1958 by the Des Moines Pioneer Club, but gained little support at that time.


Mark Morris Memorial Bridge
The Mark Morris Memorial Bridge, locally known as the North Bridge, carries Iowa 136/Illinois 136 across the Mississippi River, connecting Clinton, Iowa, and Fulton, Ill. It is jointly owned by the Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation. It was opened to traffic in January 1975.


Military Order of the Purple Heart Highway
U.S. 65/Iowa 5 from I-80 to I-35 Des Moines bypass.


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