The Keokuk Municipal Bridge is a historic landmark connection. Since its construction in 1871, this Mississippi River crossing has helped support the bi-state economies of Keokuk, Iowa and Hamilton, Illinois. It has also experienced several changes during that time. In 1916, a new bridge was designed utilizing the original piers by innovative engineer Ralph Modjeski. This bridge, a combined railway and highway crossing, consists of simple span through trusses and features a swing span to accommodate river traffic through nearby Lock and Dam No. 19. In 1985, the upper deck was closed to traffic following completion of an adjacent highway bridge. Today, with the railway still operational, Modjeski and Masters remains active partners to the City of Keokuk.
Modjeski and Masters is assisting the City of Keokuk with decision-making processes related to the upkeep of their structure by providing life cycle bridge engineering services. In recent years, we performed several annual inspections of the bridge. Following each inspection, our knowledgeable engineers prepared bridge condition reports and provided the City with maintenance recommendations. Upon the City’s request, Modjeski and Masters also prepared as-built load capacity ratings. Our technical experts utilized the results of the ratings to determine strengthening and rehabilitation recommendations, including options for increasing rail traffic capacity for 286,000 lb cars.
Our relationship with the City allowed for quick responses during emergencies. When flood waters inundated the turntable of the swing span, Modjeski and Masters provided damage inspections and recommendations for resuming operations. After a train derailment damaged the ties and floorsystem of the fixed spans, Modjeski and Masters provided a damage inspection, developed performance specifications for the emergency repairs, and monitored construction. This project, from design origins to the more recent life cycle bridge engineering efforts, is exemplary of our long-term client relationships. It’s part of what drives us to stay committed beyond completion.
Modjeski and Masters continues to provide lifecycle services for the Keokuk Municipal Bridge since its design in 1916 by Ralph Modjeski.
Donald F. Sorgenfrei, PE (Principal-In-Charge)
David W. Petermeier, PE, SE (Project Manager)
Mark E. Lasseigne, PE, SE (Lead Engineer)