Iowa River Bridge #1: The Burlington Street Bridge (1860).
The oldest “public” bridge in Iowa City, was approved (at Burlington Street) in 1859 and was completed in 1860. A wooden structure (like the toll bridges that preceded it) and poorly constructed, the bridge was wildly popular, putting the older “toll” bridges out of business. But disaster struck when the bridge partially collapsed in October 1863 as a herd of oxen panicked while crossing. With the toll bridges in disrepair, this left the citizens of Iowa City with no bridge to cross the river! Fortunately, businessman, Gilman Folsom, came to the rescue, re-opening his toll bridge until repairs could be done.
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