Library Of Congress
Library Of CongressPublic Domain ArchivePart of Not developed or endorsed by the Library of Congress
Melan Arch Bridge, Emma Slater Park (Moved from Dry Run Creek), Rock Rapids, Lyon County, IA

Melan Arch Bridge, Emma Slater Park (Moved from Dry Run Creek), Rock Rapids, Lyon County, IA



Significance: One of the first reinforced concrete bridges built in the United States, it is located in Lyon County, 4-1/2 miles southeast of Rock Rapids, Iowa. It was built in 1893 by Frederick Von Emberger, famous Austrian designer, who was at that time the official representative of Joseph Melan, Vienese engineer. Melan was granted an American patent for his method of bridge reinforcement using concrete. The span is thirty feet. The rise of the arch is three feet and the roadway sixteen feet. The thickness of the arch at the crown is six inches. The reinforcing is of the style known as the Melan System and, in this case, consists of five 4" I-beams. The side walls are faced with Sioux Falls jasper. The hand rail is of gas pipe. The cement used was imported from Germany and cost $3.25 per barrel. The mixture of one part cement to two parts sand to four part broken jasper. The bridge cost $830.00.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N214
Survey number: HAER IA-15
Building/structure dates: 1893 Initial Construction
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 74000797



Historic American Engineering Record, creator
von Emberger


Rock Rapids (Iowa)43.42719, -96.17586
Google Map of 43.4271945, -96.17585980000001


Library of Congress

Copyright info

No known restrictions on images made by the U.S. Government; images copied from other sources may be restricted.

Library Of Congress

The objects in this archive are from Library of Congress - the nation’s first established cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with millions of items including books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library provides Congress, the federal government and the American people with a rich, diverse and enduring source of knowledge to inform, inspire and engage them and support their intellectual and creative endeavors.

Disclaimer: A work of the Library of Congress is "a work prepared by an officer or employee" of the federal government "as part of that person's official duties." In general, under section 105 of the Copyright Act, such works are not entitled to domestic copyright protection under U.S. law and are therefore in the public domain. This website is developed as a part of the world's largest public domain archive,, and not developed or endorsed by the Library of Congress,

Developed by GetArchive, 2015-2020