December 20, 2008

Wonders of the Tri-State Region: Crossing the Mississippi River at Dubuque

The Julien Dubuque Bridge, built in 1943 and purported to be “one of the longest tied-arch, cantilevered spans ever constructed.” For fans of tied-arch, cantilevered spans.


  1. Cooper Renner on December 21st, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Is that your photo? It’s a swell photo. Those bridges scare me to death.

  2. Sheila Ryan on December 21st, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    That’s indeed my photo, dude. Thank you.

    That bridge is about 250 miles downriver from the one that collapsed up in Minneapolis.

    I ought not to have said that, ought I?

    Me, I’ve always been scared of the Lake Pontchartrain causeway. So damn low.

  3. Phil Bebbington on December 21st, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Sheila, I was just wondering if I called you, would you say “tied-arch cantilevered span” very slowly to me?

  4. Sheila Ryan on December 21st, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I’d go so far as to spell “tied-arch cantilevered span”.

  5. Elizabeth Perry on December 21st, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    What about a cantilever spandrel-braced deck arch? Do you have any of those? (And what is it about bridge design that occasions such phrases?)

  6. Sheila Ryan on December 21st, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Ah, Elizabeth, I can’t say that we have any of those up here in northern Illinois. But down where I lived in southern Illinois, at the Mississippi River town of Thebes, there is the most beautiful cantilevered through-truss railroad bridge ever you did see.

  7. Sheila Ryan on December 21st, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    And ain’t it a beaut, that Thebes bridge?

  8. Elizabeth Perry on December 21st, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Oh, my. Yes.

  9. Phil Bebbington on December 22nd, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Sheila, when you say spell would that be whilst peeing?

    Ladies, I have examined both bridges in detail and feel that they should only be crossed in the superthunderstingcar. Long out of production, I feel that its time has come. Just remember, people scoffed at the Corvair – hang on, people are still scoffing at the Corvair – any way!

  10. jack on December 22nd, 2008 at 11:19 am

    i am sure Phil you have examined both bridges – but what else have you examined -and of course sheila could speak very slowly to you – i would like to thank you both – for your wonderful – article on articulation my mistake bridges