Historic Bridges of Iowa

Third Street SE Bridge

Bremer County

Bridge information

Constructed: 1916-1917
Alternate name: Harmon Street Bridge, Green Bridge, Brookwood Park Bridge
Bridge type: Rigid-Connected Pratt through Truss
National Register of Historic Places status: Listed
Length: 363 feet
Width: 17.2 feet
Spans: 3
FHWA: 012250
Jurisdiction: City of Waverly
Address: Third Street SE over the Cedar River, Waverly, Section 2, T91N-R14W (Washington Township)


The Third Street SE Bridge is an example of a steel, 8-panel, riveted Pratt through truss bridge design with A-frame portal bracing and 45-degree heel strut bracing. It was built in 1916-1917 by the cement contractors Charles H. and Joseph H. Russell of Waverly and the Illinois Steel Bridge Co. headquartered in Jacksonville, Illinois. It remains a well-preserved example of its type. The bridge project was sponsored by the Bremer County Board of Supervisors based on a design by the Iowa State Highway Commission.

The Third Street SE Bridge is locally significant under Criterion A and C. It derives significance under Criterion A at the local level for its association with the NRHP themes of Community Planning and Development and Transportation in both Waverly and Bremer County. When constructed in 1917, it was a conscious decision by local leaders and citizens to provide the second vehicular Cedar River crossing in Waverly serving a growing quadrant in the community's south side. Its construction was one of the most significant pre-World War I transportation improvements and part of the evolution of the Iowa State Highway Commission's growing importance in standardizing bridges throughout the state. Its planning and construction was facilitated by both public leadership under the Bremer County Board of Supervisors and the advocacy of private citizens led by W. M. Brooks and Van Woodruff. Its construction was carried out by the Bremer County Board of Supervisors under supervision of the county's first professionally trained engineer, Claude A. Cool, a Waverly native.

The bridge also derives local significance under Criterion C under the theme of Engineering as a rare local example of a Pratt through Truss road bridge built using an Iowa State Highway Commission standard plan with fabrication and installation completed by a regionally prominent bridge company - the Illinois Steel Bridge Company of Jacksonville, Illinois. In 2017 it is one of only three documented bridges by the company extant in Iowa and also the only surviving example of a multi-span Pratt through Truss bridge design by that company built in the state. [adapted from the USDI/NPS NRHP Registeration Form]