Black Hawk Bridge

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Black Hawk Bridge
View mt hosmer.jpg
Coordinates 43°21′55″N 91°12′54″W / 43.36528°N 91.21500°W / 43.36528; -91.21500Coordinates: 43°21′55″N 91°12′54″W / 43.36528°N 91.21500°W / 43.36528; -91.21500
Carries 2 lanes of IA 9 and WI 82
Crosses Upper Mississippi River
Locale Lansing, Iowa and Crawford County, Wisconsin, River Mile 663.4
Other name(s) Lansing Bridge
Maintained by Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation
ID number NBI 000000000013520
Design Cantilever through truss
Total length 1,653 feet (504 m)
Width 21 feet (6 m), 2 Lanes
Longest span 200 m
Clearance below 68 feet (21 m)
Opened June 17, 1931
Daily traffic 2,357 (2003)
Toll None

The Black Hawk Bridge spans the Mississippi River, joining the town of Lansing, in Allamakee County, Iowa, to rural Crawford County, Wisconsin. It is the northernmost Mississippi River bridge in Iowa.

Named for Chief Black Hawk, it is popularly referred to as the "Lansing bridge". It carries Iowa Highway 9 and Wisconsin Highway 82.

This riveted cantilever through truss bridge[1] has one of the more unusual designs of any Mississippi River bridge. Construction started in 1929 and was completed in 1931. The designer and chief engineer was Melvin B. Stone. The McClintic-Marshall Company of Chicago erected the trusses. The steel came from the Inland Steel Company.

The Wisconsin approach has a long causeway over Winneshiek bottoms (sloughs, ponds, and backwaters) before ramping up to the bridge itself. The main shipping channel is on the Iowa side. The Iowa approach is rather abrupt, going from a 25 mph city street straight up a steep ramp onto the bridge.

Originally a privately built and operated bridge owned by the Iowa-Wisconsin Bridge Company, it was closed between 1945 and 1957, due to damage from ice damming, and lacking funds to repair the bridge, the company went out of business. The two states acquired the bridge and repaired it.

In August 2011 the bridge was briefly closed for repairs after a crack was found in a floor beam.[2][3]

The bridge has a sufficiency rating of 39.9%, which mainly reflects its obsolete nature. The Iowa Department of Transportation is planning for a replacement bridge.[4][5]

In popular culture[edit]

The bridge was featured in a scene from the 1999 film The Straight Story, when Alvin Straight is depicted crossing the Mississippi River near the end of his 240 mile journey.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  2. ^ "Iowa 9 bridge closed over the Mississippi River at Lansing". Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Iowa DOT to reopen Iowa 9 bridge over the Mississippi River at Lansing today". Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Cantine-Maxson, Susan. "Public learns more at August 8 meeting about Iowa DOT study for potential replacement of Black Hawk Bridge in Lansing". Retrieved 2018-07-13. 
  5. ^ Iowa Department of Transportation (May 3, 2018). "Iowa 9 (Black Hawk) Bridge In Allamakee County to be Discussed May 15 in Lansing". Retrieved 2018-07-13. 
  6. ^ Lynch, James Q. (October 15, 1998). "Mower man film rolling". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved July 23, 2018.