Historic Bridges

Le Grand Bridge

Marshall county

Bridge information

Year constructed: 1914-1915
Bridge type: Concrete Deck Girder
National Register of Historic Places status: Listed 
Length: 110 feet
Width: 20 feet
Spans: 3
Jurisdiction: Marshall County Conservation
Location: In the Mag Holland Access Area, east of County Road T37 over backwater of Iowa River, 1.3 miles north of Le Grand, Section 1, T83N-R17W (Le Grand Township)


In July of 1914, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors inspected a bridge spanning the Iowa River on the eastern edge of the county in Le Grand Township. One of nine metal spans over the Iowa River in the County, it had by then deteriorated to the point of replacement. The supervisors contracted with Des Moines-based Capital City Construction Company to build the structure, which was completed early in 1915. The Le Grand Bridge carried traffic as a major transportation link for over fifty years. When the county later rechanneled the river and rerouted the road, however, the Le Grand Bridge was bypassed. It now stands abandoned in deteriorating condition over a backwater of the river.

Part of an extensive bridge building program undertaken by Marshall County between 1909 and 1920, the Le Grand Bridge is one of the largest and most complex of the hundreds of reinforced concrete structures constructed by the county. It typifies the bridge building process in Iowa in the 1910s, codified by the Brockway Act in 1913, in which counties used ISHC standard designs as the basis for contracts with private bridge companies. The bridge is further distinguished as an early, multiple-span example of concrete girder construction in Iowa-one of only a few such structures remaining in the state today [adapted from Fraser 1989].


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