Historic Bridges of Iowa
||concrete Luten arch|
||remains in use|
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260th Street over East Indian Creek, 4.5 miles southeast of Nevada, Section 27, T83N-R22W (Nevada Township)
N.M. Stark of Des Moines began building bridges for Story County in 1902 and soon became the county's only bridge builder. This trend lasted until the state legislature passed legislation in 1913 prohibiting annual bridge contracts and codifying bidding procedure. This effectively ended Stark's monopoly on bridge construction in the county; after 1913 he did not build a single bridge. But in the early 1910s he was responsible for several small- and medium-scale concrete arches, built using the patented configuration of Indianapolis engineer Daniel Luten. Stark's arches ranged in span length from 20 feet to 75 feet, and all featured the distinctive elliptical profile of Luten's design and the concrete parapets with incised rectangular panels that had become a Stark trademark.
Located southeast of Nevada in Nevada Township, the East Indian Creek Bridge was one of the arches built by Stark during this period. It was constructed for a cost of $4,462, as part of a multiple-bridge contract awarded to Stark in May 1912. With a span length of 75 feet, the Indian Creek Bridge was the longest concrete arch built by Stark in the county, excluding the Squaw Creek Bridge (since destroyed by floods) he erected in Ames in 1908. It is thus technologically significant as a long-span example of a patented structural type, constructed by the state's most prolific concrete bridge builder before the standardization of bridge design in Iowa [adapted from Fraser 1992].