Cedar Rapids, IA Bridge Collapse, Apr 1956


Cedar Rapids News --
The concrete floor of the bridge over Prairie Creek on C street SW collapsed at noon Monday and a Worthington Acres couple were injured when their car plunged into the void and turned over.
Injured were MR. and MRS. GEORGE D. WASENDORF. He is 56, MRS. WASENDORF is 40.
MRS. WASENDORF was most seriously hurt. She suffered a broken right leg, lacerations about the face and injuries to her left leg. Her husband suffered lacerations of the face and injuries to his left leg and chest. Both were taken to Mercy Hospital for treatment.
WASENDORF was driving south toward home when the accident took place. The 35-foot slab apparently dropped out right before his eyes. Police said 49-feet of skid marks indicated WASENDORF had done everything he could to stop his car in time.
The car skidded to the hole, nosed over and landed on its top on the slab, which remained in a tilted position leaning down from the south abutment of the bridge.
WASENDORF was thrown clear, landing about 15 feet away. His wife remained in the car and had to be helped out by Ambulance Service attendants.
John Storey, city streets commissioner, said a preliminary inspection indicated that steel support beams had rusted away where they were imbedded in the concrete.
The bridge, which has been inspected anually in the past, according to Storey, has been carrying extremely heavy traffic in recent weeks.
All of the city's dump trucks and many pritately, owned trucks have been crossing and recrossing the bridge to reach the city dump, the entrance of which is located only a short distance south of the bridge.

Cedar Rapids Gazette Iowa 1956-04-17