Also known as: Wapsie Bridge, Matt's BridgeNatsell Park Rd. over Wapsipinicon R., Springville, Iowa
Reportedly haunted, the bridge is a through Plate girder bridge built by the ISHC in 1939, the longest such span in Iowa
West Elevation Panorama
"The Matsell Bridge is a steel plate girder crossing the Wapsipinicon River two miles north of Viola in eastern Linn County. This structure replaced a substantial earlier bridge consisting of a 100-foot through truss, a 140-foot bowstring truss, a 50-foot pony truss and a 12-foot approach span that the county built between 1870 and 1906.
"This through plate girder replaced the previous assemblage at a considerable savings over a potential two-span through truss."
~Iowa Department of Transportation
Photo taken by J.R. Manning in April 2013
+42.13014, -91.3836242°07'49" N, 91°23'01" W
There is a local legend that says a school bus loaded with children, stalled on the bridge and was struck by a semi truck. All the passengers were thrown into the river and perished. Witnesses claim that if you stop in the middle of the bridge, shut off the engine and wait, the spirits will push your vehicle across the bridge. Reports of disembodied footsteps and voices in the woods have also been made.
Skeptics tell us the bridge is on a slight incline, and if you stop your vehicle in the middle and put it in neutral, gravity will pull your car down the incline.
You be the judge.
National Register information
- Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 15, 1998
- Reference number
- Architectural style
- Other architectural type; continuous plate through gir
- Area of significance
- Level of significance
- Evaluation criteria
- C - Design/Construction
- Property type
- Historic function
- Current function
- Period of significance
- Significant years
- 1938; 1939
- August 22, 2014: Photo imported by Dave King
- April 7, 2013: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added to "Haunted" category
- April 6, 2013: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added overview and photographs
- April 6, 2013: New photos from J.R. Manning