3 votes

MNA - White River Bridge (Cotter)



Photo taken May 2005 by Keith Stephens

BH Photo #100064



Through truss swing railroad bridge over White River on the M&NA Railroad at Cotter
Cotter, Baxter County, Arkansas, and Marion County, Arkansas
Open to railroad traffic
Built 1905 for the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railway. Swing system only operated one time as a post-construction test.
- Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad (MNA)
- Missouri Pacific Railroad (MP; MoPac)
- St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway (StLIM&S)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Swing Pratt through truss, one span of 285 feet, and 10 80 foot deck plate girder approach spans.
Length of largest span: 285.0 ft.
Total length: 1,085.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+36.26902, -92.54304   (decimal degrees)
36°16'08" N, 92°32'35" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/541044/4013883 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 10208 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 10, 2018: New Street View added by Leslie R Trick
  • May 5, 2018: New photo from Leslie Sessums
  • April 17, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added categories "Pin-connected", "Riveted"
  • April 16, 2017: New photo from Dave King
  • November 8, 2013: New photos from Shane Passmore
  • September 8, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added date and history.
  • August 19, 2011: New photo from Lisa Hyde
  • June 1, 2005: Posted new photos from Keith Stephens


  • David Backlin - us71 [at] cox [dot] net
  • Keith Stephens - keithstephens [at] cox-internet [dot] com
  • Fred Garcia
  • Lisa Hyde
  • Douglas Butler
  • Nathan Holth
  • Railway Review, Volume 46 - Trade Magazine Article
  • Shane Passmore - aa5te [dot] kb5ehr [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Leslie Sessums - leslie-loves-you [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Leslie R Trick - Leslie [dot] Trick [at] gmail [dot] com


MNA - White River Bridge (Cotter)
Posted May 10, 2018, by Eric Kinkhorst (erick [dot] bud [at] gmail [dot] com)

It's hard for me to believe that the White river was a navigable steam to begin with. That being said,I think the placement of the the swing pier could interrupt the natural flow of the river and cause it to change course. I've been to Cotter and the river there looks more like a float trip stream. Can't imagine any steam boats going by here.

Cotter Railroad Bridge
Posted March 3, 2007, by Fred Garcia (fandsgarcia [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Cotter Bridge photos below were taken by me but posted to the RR bridge, so I'll post RR bridge pictures here also. Visted the bridges about 5 pm on 2 March 2007. As mentioned below the RR bridge is best photographed from the west bank parking lot and from the overlook on Hwy 62. The RR crossing at the west bank also gives a good perspective of the tracks running under the smaller Cotter Bridge arch. There is a large ring gear on the center pier so this bridge would have pivoted when built. None of the other swing mechanisms remain.

Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.

Cotter Railroad Bridge
Posted May 30, 2006, by TJ (t [dot] hen [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

This bridge has not moved in my lifetime...in other words since early in 1959. I grew up visiting my grandparents who lived about 3/4s of the way up the hill on Hwy 62 in Cotter on the river side. We could see this bridge, and the entrance to the tunnel from my grandpa's deck and back yard. A man named Frank Young (my grandpa's best fishin buddy), who grew up in Cotter, (the old water tower was in his back yard at the top of the hill)said the bridge was unique because it went directly into the tunnel.

Cotter Railroad Bridge
Posted December 6, 2005, by Dave Rust (w0dlr [at] fidnet [dot] com)

Riley, this is a bridge you should see if you are in the area. The center cement pier is round and the bridge sits on a large cog wheel gear. I believe I was told there use to be a little operator cab on the side of the bridge at the center. It was motorized, (I don't know how, electric or gasoline engine?) and the bridge turned sideways to allow steamboats to pass up and down the White River. The center span is now mostly over dry ground, as the course of the river has shifted.

There is a nice book about the White River Railway written by Walter Adams, if you could get a copy if it. It is no longer in print, but one might showup on Ebay.

If you would care to email me direct I will send you a photo I took last Sunday of the large center pivot gear.

I hope this is helpful.

Dave near Branson, Mo.

Cotter Railroad Bridge
Posted November 9, 2005, by Ryan Holcomb (ryanxxv [at] cox-internet [dot] com)

I would like to know where I could find more information about this particular bridge.