The McIntyre Bridge PDF Print E-mail

The McIntyre Bridge, also known as the McDowell Bridge, Skunk River Bridge, humpback, located 8.9 miles southwest of Montezuma, lies on an abandoned roadway that formerly intersected with River Road in Section 35 of Sugar Creek Township. The bridge is 167 feet in length, with the iron span 120 feet long. The bowstring was manufactured in 1883 by the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Alan King Sloan, a descendant of Zenas King, has created an online museum and it was Mr. King that granted $1500 to the project to get us going and he provided leads to leading bridge restoration experts, pontists, across the country.

Rather than dismantle and sell the old bridge for scrap after its closing in 1989, the County chose to leave the structure in place to create the ‘access’ to Millgrove Access Wildlife Area. This wildlife area is composed of 430 acres of prairie, oak and hickory savannah and wetlands, and is a designated a Natural Resource Area. It is one of the few remaining public wetlands areas in Poweshiek County and is managed by the Poweshiek County Conservation Board. Hunting and fishing are allowed in season and it is open to hiking and horseback riding and our annual picnic. Another two hundred acres of land adjacent to Millgrove Access has recently been donated by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and 400 acres has been pledged south and east of the bridge, with a REAP grant adding another 450 acres that drains into the marshes, to the north.


The bridge was listed as the McDowell Bridge in the National Register of Historic Places on May 15, 1998, #98000488, after a request by Poweshiek County Supervisor Harold McNaul. The National Register is the Federal government’s official list of historic properties worthy of preservation. Listing in the National register provides recognition and assists in preserving our Nation’s Heritage, with the following benefits: 1) Consideration in planning for Federal projects as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires Federal agencies to allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an opportunity to comment on projects. 2) Eligibility for Federal tax benefits providing a 20 percent investment tax credit for rehabilitation 3) Consideration of historic values in the decision to issue a surface coal mining permit and 4) Qualification for Federal and State grants for historic preservation when funds are available. There is a legal clause in federal bylaws regarding historic places, however, that allows tear-down of historic structures when it causes financial harm to the owner.