Local treasures

Every day people pass things things without a thought
that others believe are treasures. To prove my point I’ll
mention a local bridge that has always fascinated the wife
and myself.

The Arsenal Bridge, which locals call the Government
Bridge, connects Davenport, Iowa to Arsenal Island and is
one way to get to Illinois. The current bridge is the 4th
at the location it is currently located. The original
bridge was finished in 1856 and was the first railroad
bridge across the Mississippi river.

The current bridge was opened in 1896 and uses the same
piers as the 1872 bridge it replaced, As you drive over
this bridge you may notice you are a mere 15 feet above
the normal water level. It has two levels with cars and
light trucks on the bottom level and two trail tracks on
the upper level.

But what we really love about this old bridge is the 365
foot long swing span over the locks. This span rotates a
full 360 degrees to allow river traffic to go through the

360 degree swing spans are unusual, but necessary, as it
helps close the span quicker to re-open it to vehicles and
trains. It also is just east of the dam and the south end
spans the locks.

Here is a video showing the bridge and the lock part of
Lock and Dam 15. To the right is Arsenal Island and to the
far left is Davenport, Iowa. The video shows the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers vessel Mississippi at the locks.

Our city leaders here on the east coast of Iowa are
always saying we need things to bring people to our area.
We think this old swinging bridge is as good as any we’ve
heard lately. Enjoy your Sunday, and since it is Sunday
we’ll end with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson-

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Comments are always welcome.


3 Responses to Local treasures

  1. Mamabear says:

    Thanks for sharing the video’s~pretty cool~both of them. Locking through is a whole lot different than how we did it on the Allegheny River with a pleasure craft.

  2. cruisin2 says:

    thanks for the link.

    our pleasure. We’ve been through three of the locks on the Mississippi and they are all similar to ours.

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