The Motor Mill Bridge
The original bridge at Motor was a high-sided wooden structure built in 1868. According to John Thompson’s request for bids, the bridge had three 54 foot spans 16 feet wide. The north and south end had a 15 foot approach made of timber and plank. The three spans were Howe Truss and the 5 or 6 foot high wooden sides were simply added to enclose the trusses.
The Pin Connected Pratt Through Truss steal bridge currently at Motor was built in 1895. The bridge had two 95 foot spans with a 16 foot wide wood deck. In June of 1991 flood waters destroyed the south span. The span was not replaced due to low traffic counts and the historic nature of the bridge.
The Motor Mill Foundation would like to replace the bridge with a replicated Pin Connected Pratt Through Truss bridge. The existing north span would be moved to another location at the Motor Mill site. The replicated bridge would be placed on the existing piers. The proposal would allow car and pick-up traffic to cross at Motor Mill. The Foundation is currently in contact with engineers and researching funding options.
However, for now, visitors to the Motor Mill Site should start at Elkader where Highway 13 intersects with Grape Road. Take Grape Road across three concrete bridges. At the top of the hill, take the first gravel road to the right, Galaxy Road. Take Galaxy Road to the Mill. Be sure to enjoy this beautiful drive through Clayton County’s farm land, wooded bluffs and limestone outcrops.