The Lincoln Way bridge over Squaw Creek in 1908, the year it was built to the specifications of the Luten-patented plans selected by the Story County Board of Supervisors. In late June of 1918, this bridge collapsed from the effects of flood waters. Daniel B. Luten, an out-of-state bridge engineer, held patents on bridge design and made them available to a number of Iowa counties. Between 1907 and 1913, about twenty Iowa counties had built Luten-patented bridges. The Iowa Highway Commission engineers were soon contending that the payment of royalties to Luten was unneccessary since his designs were based upon engineering principles in the public domain. Their major objection to Luten bridges, however, was that his designs did not provide sound structures. Too often, patented plans were selected on the basis of cost rather than suitability to the local conditions under which they would function. Photo is courtesty of the Iowa Department of Transportation. (See also: 180.1015.1-2)


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Published: 07/05/2013 12:41:18 pm