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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
McBride Bridge
Historic Madison County Bridge Site
Winterset, IA

McBride Bridge

• Location: 7 Miles Northeast Of Winterset.
• Construction: Wood Truss, Covered.
• Length: Feet, Foot Longest Span.
• Date Built: 1871, Destroyed By Arson In 1983.
Also known as the Wiggins Bridge, this structure was built in 1871 using the Town lattice truss and a flat roof. This bridge was in operation until it was destroyed by an arsonist in 1983. News reports indicate that a local man had just broken up with his girlfriend when she decided to go back to her husband, and he burned the bridge attempting to remove his initial from the structure.

There is reportedly still some bridge ruins in existence. However, due to the heavy vegetation and recent rains made the ground muddy, so I didn't venture off of the highway. As a result, I didn't locate any of the bridge ruins, nor am I 100% sure of exactly where the old bridge was located. Drainage ditches and an old road grade appear to indicate that the bridge was just west of the current concrete highway bridge.

A bridge assessment made before the McBridge Bridge was destroyed reports that this was the most beautiful setting of any of the Madison County bridges. There is a hill located to the south of the bridge site, resulting in a very dramatic view of the structure as you crested the hill and started downhill towards the south bridge portal. Another report that I have seen indicates that the bridge site is one of the best birdwatching locations in southwest Iowa.

The photo above is the street sign for McBride Road, the road leading to the site of the McBride Bridge. Bridges were often named after the family that lived nearest to the bridge. At least one mailbox suggests that a family named McBride still operates a farm in the vicinity of the bridge site. The photo below is the modern bridge that crosses the North Branch of the North River.

McBride Bridge
McBride Bridge
The photo above is looking northwest from the highway bridge, while the photo below is looking southwest from the highway bridge. This is my best guess on the location of the McBride Bridge.

McBride Bridge

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