Shell Rock Bridge

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Cherry Street over Shell Rock R., Shell Rock, Iowa

Three-span, closed spandrel, concrete arch bridge over Shell Rock River on Cherry Street in Shell Rock


Overview Looking North

The new deck is wider with expanded sidewalks. Reproductions of the original parapet walls protect pedestrians from road traffic.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in March 2014




On April 4, 2011, work began to reconstruct this bridge, according to the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. The project was planned to retain the historic closed spandrel substructure, replace the deck, add some width to the superstructure and add railings between the traffic lanes and pedestrian pathways. The main concern for local officials was adding protection for pedestrians because the bridge carries much truck traffic, but it also carries youngsters between school and the library.

The bridge connects the town and is of vital importance. A short detour made it possible to travel around town, but local merchants and residents alike were frustrated with their main thoroughfare closed for nearly eight months.

The project originally was expected to last four months. (Stop snickering.) The bridge reportedly opened in December 2011. A dedication ceremony was held on June 12, 2012.

The reconstructed bridge features a widened deck with wide sidewalks and replicas of the original parapet walls that separate the roadway from pedestrian walkways. The original flavor of the historic bridge were retained in the rebuild of this important bridge.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 12, 1999
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Concrete spandrel arch
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • March 29, 2014: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Photos and Added Description