Nebraska - Iowa Border

Just east of the Ak-sar-ben Bridge over the Missouri River, we found a map-based welcome to Council Bluffs and Iowa. ("Ak-Sar-Ben," you ask? You figure it out!) (September 1999 photo)
This classic bridge carried Route 6 over the Missouri River, connecting Broadway in Council Bluffs with Douglas Street in Omaha. Today it connects with the Dodge and Douglas Streets one-way couplet. It was built in 1888 as the first wagon/trolley bridge between Omaha and Council Bluffs. The venerable structure became known as the Ak-Sar-Ben Bridge in 1939 when the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben purchased it and eliminated the tolls as a public service.

A 1930s postcard view of the Ak-sar-ben Bridge.  (Curt Teich Postcard Archives, Lake County Illinois Discovery Museum)


This photo was taken by John Vachon in November 1938, when the bridge still charged tolls. It can be found in the American Memory digital archives of the Library of Congress.

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