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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Roseman Bridge
Historic Madison County Covered Bridge
Winterset, IA

Roseman Bridge

• Location: 7.5 Miles Southweast Of Winterset.
• Construction: Wood Truss, Covered.
• Length: 107 Feet.
• Date Built: 1883, Bypassed 1981, Renovated 1992.
The Roseman Bridge, also known as the Oak Grove Bridge, is the westernmost of the six remaining covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa. This is the original 1883 structure at its original location over the Middle River. The bridge piers were replaced with steel supports, and the bridge was extensively renovated in 1992. Later, in the early 2000s, there was an arson attempt on the bridge. The bridge is very lucky to still be standing.

The Roseman Bridge was in use until 1981. It has been bypassed by a new roadway located about 1,000 feet to the east of the bridge.

This bridge was featured in both the novel and the film ‘The Bridges Of Madison County’. Photogrpaher Robert Kincaid, played by Clint Eastwood, stopped at the Johnson Farm to ask for directions to the Roseman Bridge. Kincaid meets Francesca Johnson at the farm, played by Meryl Streep. Later, Johnson leaves a note for Kincaid at the Roseman Bridge, which led to their brief affair while Johnson's hardworking farmer husband took their children to the Iowa State Fair.

The photo above is looking southest towards the west face of the Roseman Bridge. The vantage point is a walkway leading to a privately operated gift shop. The photo below is looking south towards the Roseman Bridge from the parking area at the north end of the bridge site.


Roseman Bridge
Roseman Bridge
The photo above is looking towards the north portal. The photo below is looking down the length of the appraoch span on the south end of the bridge towards the south portal. There is a lengthy approach trestle on the south end of the bridge, while the approach span on the north end is relatively short. Note the rip-rap rock along the riverbank. This is to protect the bridge from flooding, something that led to the demise of many covered bridges thoughout the midwest.

Roseman Bridge
Roseman Bridge
These two photos are looking northeast towards the Roseman Bridge from the south side of the Middle River. The photo above is a closer view of the bridge, while the photo below includes the approach trestle.

Roseman Bridge
Roseman Bridge
The photo above is the west side and the underside of the bridge as seen from the south bank of the Middle River. The photo below is a close view of the top of the piers at the south end of the bridge. While the piers have been replaced with steel, the bridge itself is still supported exclusively by its wooden truss structure.

Roseman Bridge
Roseman Bridge
The photo above is looking north down the length of the bridge deck. The floor planks are well worn, but still structurally sound. The photo below is looking out the north portal towards the parking area. The stairway on the left side of the roadway leads to a privately owned gift shop.

Roseman Bridge
Roseman Bridge
The photo above is a view of the wooden trusswork that supports the bridge. The structure uses two parallel timber beams, one near the roof, and one at the floor, which are connected by the criss-crossing frame members. A second support using two angled beams acts like an arch to add additonal strength to the truss. The planks on the side of the bridge are attached to the structure via smaller stringers. The photo below is the bridge name sign located above the south portal.

Roseman Bridge
Roseman Bridge
The photo above is a street sign located near the bridge site. Seeing a sign with the word ‘Bridge’ is a good sign that you are getting close the site. The photo below is the guide sign leading tourists to the bridge site. Each of the six remaining covered bridges has such a sign.

Roseman Bridge

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