Bridge No. L-3040 is historically significant as a rare and early example of "permanent" highway construction. The bridge is also significant as the state's oldest, known, surviving, stone-arch highway bridge. Most stone-arch bridges in the state were built by local governments during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as part of the "Good Roads Movement." The movement was a coalition of farmers, bicyclists, motorists, engineers and politicians who were intent on improving the quality, comfort and safety of rural highways and bridges. Typically, country stone-arch bridges are modest rubble-masonry, back-roads structures with spans ranging from 10 feet to 15 feet in length.
Although Scott County records provide no historical information on the bridge, the "1878" date stones establish the period of construction, which precedes the Good Roads Movement by almost two decades. During this era, there was limited public support and even less public funding for permanent highway bridges, especially in rural areas. Inexpensive, temporary, wooden bridges were the rule in Scott County, as well as elsewhere in the state. The construction of Bridge No. L-3040 was an unusual event, which seems to have been underscored by the quality of the bridge's masonry. Unlike the unadorned rubble-masonry bridges that were later built in rural areas, Bridge No. L-3040 is a thin-jointed, coursed-ashlar structure incorporating a type of ornamentation usually reserved for more visible municipal and railroad bridges. These ornamental details include date stones, flared, elongated and protruding keystones and tooled margins on the ring stones.