The current bridge was built in 1915 and 1916 on the same piers as the 1870 bridge. To eliminate the train delays, the bridge was built with a second deck to handle US-136 highway traffic.
These bridges were promoted by Andrew Carnegie, and were built by the Keokuk and Hamilton Bridge Company. The bridge company ran into financial problems in the 1940's. Ownership was transferred to the City of Keokuk in 1948, thus, the name Keokuk Municipal Bridge.
A new US-136 highway bridge opened in late 1985, which removed traffic off of the upper deck. As a result, the upper deck was closed, and refurbished as an observation deck to watch navigation traffic and dam operations at Lock & Dam #19 just up river.
On Monday, January 29, 2007, two cars of a KJRY train derailed. The cars were drug across the bridge. The wheels damaged or broke about two-thirds of the ties on the railroad deck. The bridge will be closed at least 90 days. The ties on the bridge, while still in good condition prior to the accident, are of a lighter design than what current railroad standards require. The City of Keokuk had been considering replacing the ties on the bridge with heavier ties. This project would cost between one and two million dollars. The rail bridge primarily serves a Roquette America plant. The city is losing revenue while the bridge is closed, revenue that is needed to maintain the bridge.