Welcome to the new Madison County Tourism Website!

Cedar Covered Bridge

The Cedar Bridge (previously known as the Casper or Storrs Bridge) was built in 1883 by Harvey P. Jones using the Town lattice truss with queenpost overlay, patented by Architect Ithiel Town. The span length of Cedar Bridge is 78 feet. Cedar Bridge originally crossed Cedar Creek 2.7 miles northeast of Winterset, on what is now Highway 169, before being moved in 1920 to its present location. The original cost of the bridge was $2,964.73. The Cedar Bridge carried traffic until 1920, when it was moved to its current site over Cedar Creek. Here it functioned in place until it too was bypassed in 1964 by another bridge. It now acts as the centerpiece of a small park.

An illustration of Cedar Bridge graces the cover of the novel, The Bridges of Madison County, by Robert James Waller. Oprah Winfrey came to Winterset in the spring of 1993 and filmed an episode of her show from the lawn around Cedar Bridge. A set of stairs descending the bank near the bridge was built for Oprah to make her entrance and these are now known as “Oprah’s Steps.”

The Cedar Bridge was renovated in 1998 for $128,073, but unfortunately fell victim to arson on September 3rd, 2002. The county hired Calhoun-Burns & Associates of West Des Moines to build an exact replica of the bridge. Construction started in the fall of 2003 and an official dedication took place on October 9, 2004 during the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival.

On April 15, 2017, the unimaginable happened and Cedar Bridge was once again destroyed by arson. It took nearly two years to raise the appropriate funds and finish the work, but a new replica of Cedar Bridge was completed in 2019, with an official ribbon-cutting during the Covered Bridge Festival in October 2019.

Cedar Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Madison County that is still open to vehicular traffic.

Location

Cedar Bridge Road
Winterset, IA 50273

Cedar Covered Bridge photo