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