Iowa City Press-Citizen from Iowa City, Iowa on June 19, 1982 · Page 11
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Iowa City Press-Citizen from Iowa City, Iowa · Page 11

Iowa City, Iowa
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 19, 1982
Page 11
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Saturday, June 19, 1982 Iowa City Press-Citizen SB ria'5 M g8BifeM:pj -pi?.- 'w,as --iinV seTv fF"," ... ' ; - ; . ' : - -..-. .... x.. - i The double arch iron bridge (top) carried horse and buggies on College Street across Ralston Creek before the turn of the century, the present College Street bridge is a 150-foot, single span bridge that carries four lanes of traffic and is 48 feet wide. The sign above the double arch bridge says "Five Dollars Fine for driving over this bridge faster than a walk. The story is told of a prominent citizen who approached the old bridge late one Saturday night in a somewhat confused condition. According to the story, he saw two bridges, could not decide which one to take, so compromised and went between them. His early model automobile was "totalled" on the center truss. PreCtUMnJe8 Myen Get the latest scores In the PressCitlzejriSportejgaa The College Street bridge between Gilbert and Van Buren streets once was a double arch iron bridge, before the turn of the century when iron arch bridges were the general bridge plan. Ned L. Ashton of Iowa City who designed the present College Street bridge in 1972, estimates the iron arch bridge probably was constructed in the late 1870s. The iron arch bridge over the Iowa River at Iowa Avenue, the Centennial Bridge, was constructed in 1876, being replaced in 1916 by the present concrete bridge. East bound traffic on this double arch iron truss bridge at College Street used the south lane (right), and west bound traffic used the north lane. This was the second College Street bridge to span Ralston Creek, and it also crossed above the "Plug" (BCR&N) railroad tracks. The railroad was constructed in 1879, running south to Riverside, and north to Elmira, where it connected with the St. Louis to St. Paul line. The bridge is generally considered to have been built at the same time. There is no record as to whether the railroad paid for the bridge, or the city. Reportedly the third bridge (1927) was paid for by the railroad. In 1909 when the first of Iowa City's five street car lines was constructed, (the one running to the south end of Rundell Street), its tracks were laid in the north lane. The first bridge over Ralston Creek at College Street was built in 1850 and $30 was allotted by the county towards the project. Iowa City had not been incorporated at that time. The Plug railroad was not built until 1879 and it is my conclusion that the first College Street bridge over Ralston Creek was at "creek level," the same as the present Washington and Burlington street bridges. College Street from the east originally dropped down to creek level. Supporting my theory, Verne Kelley, director of the adjacent Mental Health Center at 505 E. College St, observed recently when some excavation was being done under the present College Street bridge, that the original clay went down to the creek level, and the fill above it, to the present College Street bridge, was of an entirely different material. College Street on the west side of the bridge originally sloped down to the Ralston Creek level, as do Burlington and Washington Streets today. The present College Street approach to the bridge from the west is all fill, as is the corner where the Bus Depot is located today. At one time the Hotz Pickle Factory was on this corner. The area where the Recreation Center is located today, was, for years, a grassy park stretching from College St. to Burlington St. The Plug Depot and railroad tracks paralleling Ralston Creek were east of the park. The double iron truss bridge continued in service until 1927, when it was replaced by a 36 foot, six pier concrete bridge, constructed by A.A. (Archie) Alexander of Des Irving Weber V Moines, at a cost of $37,000. B.J. Lambert of the University of Iowa College of Engineering, who had been one of Alexander's professors designed the bridge. Alexander is remembered by old time Iowa football fans as one of the earliest Iowa black football players, a tackle, 1912-14. He played in an era when black athletes were not accepted as today. When Iowa went to Columbia, Mo.,to play the University of Missouri, officials at that school told Iowa they could not play Alexander. Iowa insisted he would play. Missouri very positively stated he could not play. Things reached a stalemate, and Iowa stated either -Alexander played or no game. Alexander played, but reportedly received rough treatment. Archie Alexander became a very ' successful contractor and a man of influence, and later served as United States ambassador to one of the countries in the Caribbean. The 1927 Archie Alexander bridge, the third College Street bridge, was replaced in 1972 by the present 150 foot single arch concrete bridge, designed by Ned Lr Ashton of Iowa City and currently in use. It has a 48 foot roadway; four lanes of traffic with parking along the curbing. Schmidt Construction Company of Winf ield was the contractor. Total cost of the bridge was $460,000. Ashton recalls that he had arranged for a bronze historical plaque to be placed on a post near the John Wilson Store, where the steps go to the ground level. It was to contain information connected with the bridge city council, contractor, designer, date, etc. There was some objection to the plaque and it never was prepared. Iowa City mayor in 1972 when the bridge was completed was Tim Brandt, and other council mem, bers included Robert Connell, Edgar Czamecki, Loren Hicker-son, and J. Patrick White. When the bridge negotiations were started in 1971 Loren Hickerson was mayor and Lee Butherus a council member. As an interesting coincidence, Ashton, just like Alexander, was a former Iowa athlete. He was an Iowa swimmer, 1923-25. So, College Street in its 143 years since it was platted in 1839 has" known four bridges: the first, 185Q 1879; the second, the double irofl5 truss bridge, 1879-1927; the third, the Alexander concrete bridge, 1927-1972; and the fourth, the current Ashton bridge, 1972-? Irving B. Weber, a native of Iowa City, is a retired businessman who writes regularly for the Press-Citizen. Medical records group organizing Reservations are being accepted for a seminar sponsored by a new group of health professionals being formed in east central Iowa. The new group is the Hawkeye Chapter of the American Association for Medical Transcription, a professional association (not a union) for the people who produce medical reports in hospitals, clinics, physicians' offices, and simi lar locations. The informational seminar will be Saturday, June 26 at The Carousel restaurant in Iowa City. Dr. J.C.N. Brown of Iowa City will speak on "Drug Treatment in Psychiatry" and Joanne Yanni of Philadelphia, a certified medical transcriptionist, will speak about AAMT and the process of organizing the chapter. For more information about reservations contact Phyllis Bradley in the Medical Records De partment at Mercy Hospital, Iowa City. The phone is 337-0652. A spokesman for the new group noted that the new chapter is different from the DJowa Chapter, which is centered in the Quad Cities area. He said the new chapter is being formed because of increased local interest in AAMT. T IOWA CITY Press-Citizen JOHN HAYD'EN Named Carrier of the Week !'N Ac. l . v T" K: : f V 1 John earns about $50.00 every month from his Press-Citizen newspaper route. He has been delivering the Press-Citizen in the Glendale Road area of Iowa City for about a year. John just finished sixth grade at Hoover School where his favorite subjects were math and language arts. In his spare time, he likes to play tennis and soccer and swim. He is a member of the Iowa City Swim Club and the Iowa City Kickers. Dr. and Mrs. James McLeran are John's parents. He has two brothers, Steve, 20 and Chuck, 14. For more information about the Press-Citizen's carrier training program for hoys and girls, 10 years and older, stop by or call the Circulation Department, 319 E. Washington St., 337-3181, Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Father's Day is just around the corner. So why not get him something he can really use? A gift certificate from Nagles. 31 "N 1201 XT LU- tit ertiftrate I Iowa City, Iowa ; . Phone 338-1113 ' )M. Dqcl... ; ; w IS CORDIALLY WELCOMED TO ENJOY A GIFT OF YOUR CHOICE . . .. m COURTESY OF . r. ! P P , VALUE $ 'ii ' mo inn JB : t..uuiNifcKijiNt,u w -"V.rn. ii m 1201 S. Gilbort 338-1113 Mon.-Frl., 8-5; Sat., 8-4; Sunday, 10-2 NAGLE LUMBER

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