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
.

 
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.
    Special Route and Bridge Designations

    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.
      Special Route and Bridge Designations

      Allen Neiland Memorial Bridge
      (west- and eastbound 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.
        Special Route and Bridge Designations

        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.
          Special Route and Bridge Designations

          Avenue of the Saints
          The name "Avenue of the Saints" was derived from the notion that the route would eventually connect St. Louis, and St. Paul. The route through Iowa has been completed. For information on this route visit the Iowa DOT's Avenue of the Saints Web site
            Special Route and Bridge Designations

            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.
              Special Route and Bridge Designations

              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.
                Special Route and Bridge Designations

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

                  Charles Whitney Memorial Bridge
                  (north- and southbound), 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.
                    Special Route and Bridge Designations

                    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
                    Special Route and Bridge Designations

                    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.
                      Special Route and Bridge Designations

                      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.
                        Special Route and Bridge Designations

                        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.
                          Special Route and Bridge DesignationsSpecial Route and Bridge Designations

                          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.
                            Special Route and Bridge Designations

                            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.
                              Special Route and Bridge Designations

                              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.
                                Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                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.
                                  Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                  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.
                                    Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                    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.
                                      Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                      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.
                                        Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                        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.
                                          Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                          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.
                                            Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                            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.
                                              Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                              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.
                                                Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                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.
                                                  Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                  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.
                                                    Special Route and Bridge Designations

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


                                                      Harold DeGear Memorial Bridge
                                                      (north- and southbound 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.
                                                        Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                        Harold Klinkefus Memorial Bridge
                                                        (east- and westbound), 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.
                                                          Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                          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.
                                                            Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                            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 Nov. 18, 1935, to honor veterans of World War I.

                                                              Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                              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.
                                                                Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                Lance Dietsch Memorial Bridge
                                                                (north- and southbound), 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. Dietch 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.
                                                                  Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                  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.
                                                                    Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                    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.
                                                                      Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                      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.

                                                                        Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                        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.

                                                                          Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                          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.

                                                                            Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                            Mark Toney Memorial Bridge
                                                                            (north- and southbound), 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.
                                                                              Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                              Marvin VanderLinden Memorial Bridge
                                                                              (east- and westbound 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.
                                                                                Special Route and Bridge Designations

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

                                                                                  Oran Pape Memorial Bridge
                                                                                  (east- and westbound 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.
                                                                                    Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                                    Ralph Garthwaite Memorial Bridge
                                                                                    (east- and westbound), 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.
                                                                                      Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                                      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.
                                                                                      Invited speakers for the dedication included Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie, Des Moines Councilwoman Christine Hensley, Roosevelt High School students, and Iowa DOT officials. The ceremonial ribbon was cut by the 2006 Roosevelt Hall of Fame inductees.
                                                                                        Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                                        Stanley Gerling Memorial Bridge
                                                                                        (north- and southbound), 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.
                                                                                          Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                                          Veterans Memorial Bridge
                                                                                          U.S. 275/Iowa 92 bridge over the Missouri River in Council Bluffs
                                                                                            Special Route and Bridge Designations

                                                                                            Veterans Memorial Highway
                                                                                            Iowa 3 across the state
                                                                                              Special Route and Bridge Designations