Thursday, March 13, 2008

US 20 in Iowa & Illinois – Julien Dubuque Bridge

US Route 20 visits many large cities on its trek across the United States. One of them is Dubuque, Iowa, on the west side of the Mississippi River. Helping travelers to cross the Mississippi from East Dubuque, Illinois to Dubuque, Iowa on US 20 is the Julien Dubuque Bridge. The bridge is named after a French-Canadian pioneer, Julien Dubuque, who was the first permanent settler to this area.

This bridge was completed in 1943, and is a continuous steel arch truss bridge, with a span of 845 feet. There are two lanes of US 20, plus one pedestrian walkway.

There is a lot more traffic traveling in the area than there was when the bridge was first constructed. There have been discussions about the future of the bridge and what part it will play in moving traffic over the Mississippi. These discussion have included a range of ideas from expanding the bridge to four lanes to completely demolishing it and starting over with a bridge the looks similar. I’m all for preserving history whenever possible, but in light of the bridge collapse on I-35 in Minnesota which also crosses the Mississippi (but is of a different architectural design), I say safety should come first.
Julien Dubuque Bridge in the 1980s

The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found here.

1 comment:

RoadDog said...

Beautiful bridge. I've passed over it many times. That stretch from Freeport, Illinois, to Dubuque is as beautiful as you'll find anywhere in the world, other than the traffic.