Rating:
16 votes

Fryer's Ford Bridge

Photos 

Side view

Photo taken June 2002 and provided by the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department

BH Photo #100304

Map 

Description 

The Fryer's Ford Bridge was the oldest pin-connected Pratt through steel truss bridge still in use in Arkansas. It is the only known bridge built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company in Arkansas.

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over East Fork Point Remove Creek on CR 67 (Fryer Bridge Road)
Location
Conway County, Arkansas
Status
Collapsed by an overloaded truck .
History
Built 1890 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio, Lost 2011
Builder
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Design
Pin-connected, 7-panel Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 126.0 ft.
Total length: 130.9 ft.
Deck width: 14.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.0 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 2004
Also called
Solgohachia Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.26971, -92.71344   (decimal degrees)
35°16'11" N, 92°42'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/526063/3902990 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Solgohachia
Land survey
T. 7 N., R. 16 W., Sec. 9
Inventory numbers
AHTD 17862 (Arkansas Highway and Transportation Dept. bridge number)
NRHP 04000498 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 10293 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 01/2010)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 6.9 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 1987)
95

Update Log 

  • February 28, 2014: New photo from Jack Schmidt
  • September 12, 2011: New photo from Gene McCluney
  • August 19, 2011: New photos from Lisa Hyde
  • April 11, 2011: Updated by Wayne Kizziar: Changed status to collapsed.
  • January 30, 2010: Posted HAER photos
  • December 15, 2008: New photos from Gene McCluney

Sources 

  • AHTD
  • Wayne Kizziar - waynekizziar [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Fred Garcia
  • Gene McCluney - gmacfilm [at] live [dot] com
  • HAER AR-64 - Fryer's Ford Bridge, Spanning East Fork of Point Remove Creek at Fryer , Solgohachia vicinity, Conway County, AR
  • Lisa Hyde
  • Jack Schmidt - jjturtle [at] earthlink [dot] net

Comments 

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 31, 2015, by dcguess92 (dcg [dot] 1380 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Still cant believe this bridge is gone. Glad I got to see it before it went. Beautiful

Beautiful

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted September 25, 2011, by Nathan

What a shame the bridge is gone due to ignorance on someones part. At least we have many photos and memories of it. More than likely, they'll put in a ugly concrete bridge for replacement.

Does anyone know dates on replacement bridge?

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted September 12, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Great photo Gene!

Just shows what a beautiful and scenic place this bridge was a part of... A tragic loss!

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted June 8, 2011, by Fred Garcia (fandsgarcia [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited the crumpled remains of the Fryer Bridge on 6 June 2011 at 11 a.m. The attached photos illustrate the fatal damage caused by 15" of rain following the collapse. The bridge structure formed a dam which retained tons of flood debris and shoved the bridge downstream about 20 yards. Bridge components are twisted, bent, stretched or torn.In my opinion this bridge is not recoverable. Such a sad sight. The abutments appear to be intact.

It would be great if there was ample insurance money to pay engineers, historic preservationists, and foundaries to reproduce the bridge components to recreate a replacement structure that would be authentic. Or another alternative might be to locate a suitable bridge scheduled for demolition to be installed at this site. What are the chances?

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

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 31, 2011, by Bill McGAnn

How can one be below the lowest IQ? That is simply hyperbole. Maybe we should stick to the facts of the situation: a bridge is lost due to one person's laziness to go around the other way.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 30, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Either way it indicates that the offender has the lowest IQ it is possible to have, and perhaps below.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 30, 2011, by David Backlin (us71 [at] cox [dot] net)

In this case, it's most likely a case of "don't care". I believe the driver was quoted as saying he had driven the bridge numerous times.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 30, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

....Or don't care

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 30, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The problem is apparently people don't know how to read.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 30, 2011, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I remember that now. It happened about a week after we were there. An overloaded horse trailer. People don't understand weight limits I guess.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 29, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Unfortunately, it was due to the sheer stupidity of a driver and his overweight vehicle.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 29, 2011, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Oh my, we have experience with this sort of thing. Did this happen during a weather event? I need to know more.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted May 1, 2011, by Kaylynn Wood (kaylynnkat9792 [at] gmail [dot] com)

this is a photo i took of fryer bridge on 5/29/2011

note the high water level and rubbish gathered around the bridge

in a few days i will post some taken the same day by a photographer

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 15, 2011, by Photolitherland (photolitherland [at] gmail [dot] com)

God Da#@ed rednecks. I just visited this bridge for the first time ever about 2 weeks ago and thought it was amazing. I cant believe that after just visiting it some stupid jackass makes it collapse. Im sure the county will just replace it with some cement ugly monstrosity. I cant believe this.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 14, 2011, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

Here's my two cents' worth on this subject. You can subscribe to my column either directly or through facebook:

http://thebridgehunter.areavoices.com/2011/04/14/from-bridge...

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 13, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

One of the reasons they replace bridges like this is to protect idiots from themselves. It takes more than a posting sign to force a driver to add an extra few miles and minutes to his route. Most drivers--even the pros--assume their vehicles and the roads can handle anything one can possibly do. (Note the number of people drowned each year at high water crossings.) We keep improving guard railings and car safety features so that people are getting more correct in their assumption that they can do anything without serious consequences. Punishing this driver would just make him a _poor_ idiot, unable to earn a living. And his replacement would grumble until they get the bridge repaired so he can save a few miles and a few minutes. Build them a slab and restore the old bridge as a graffiti park for the other morons.

Maybe we need height restricting bars at the portals of the important old ones.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 13, 2011, by tom carter (tomcarter1 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I made a special trip to this bridge first.time.a week ago. It really hacks me off that some 10.00 an hour inbred truck driver brought down a 120 year survivor. U can't replace that beauty of structure.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 13, 2011, by Matt Lohry

On "Anonymous"'s comments on structural deficiency--just because a bridge is listed as "structurally deficient" certainly does not mean that it is unsafe or not suitable to carry traffic up to a posted weight limit. It just simply states that there are aspects of the bridge relating to the structure that need repair or refurbishment. The weight limits on bridges are determined by utilizing a full engineering process that includes bridge inspection, modeling, collection of historic and current data referring to such factors as ADT (Average Daily Traffic) and other considerations. Keep in mind, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is considered Structurally Deficient, has all three structure areas listed as Poor, and has a sufficiency rating of ZERO, but look at the tens of thousands of cars and trucks that it relentlessly carries every day. The bridge could certainly benefit from a full rehab, but it is obviously perfectly safe to use.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 12, 2011, by Fredrick Garcia (fandsgarcia [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am sick to read of this tragedy. Same nonsense that occurred with the Wallace Bridge, except worse with the Fryer's. It doesn't look as recoverable as the Wallace and that took 1.5 years.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 12, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Sorry for sounding like a broken record because I say this everytime this happens. But here is what the only acceptable process is.

Prevention: Ability to read road signs must be made a requirement to drive.

When Accident Occurs: Driver or insurance must pay 100% cost to either repair or replicate to exact detail the historic bridge.

Punishment: Permanent or long term revoke of driving privilege, particularly the commercial license which is even more than a normal license a privilege of the road.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 12, 2011, by Anonymous (Anonymous)

Yes - he's an imbecile for not reading the weight limit, but check out the condition report on the bridge! Both the superstructure and substructure rated as POOR (below 50% statistically), appraised as structurally deficient, and they were still letting vehicles up to 6,000 lbs use it?

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 12, 2011, by Anonymous

I hope the bridge can be saved, even if it only comes back as a pedestrian bridge. As for the imbecile who did it, I think he needs his license revoked.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 11, 2011, by Wayne Kizziar (wayne1701 [at] cableone [dot] net)

More on the collapse:

Written by

Lindsey Tugman

MORRILTON, Ark. (KTHV) -- A historic bridge in Conway County collapsed under the weight of a truck Monday.

A truck with Sweet H20 Transfer Services crossed over the Fryer Bridge in Conway County. It's located about eight and a half miles north of Morrilton off Highway 95.

There is a 3-ton weight limit on the bridge, but the truck actually weighted more than 18,000 pounds, closer to 9 tons.

According to Larry Miller with Morrilton Community Channel 6, the driver says he was driving across the bridge and it started waving on him. He says he made it across and collapsed behind him. The top of the bridge struck the top of his hose track, but he was able to get it off the bridge.

The driver says he has driven over the bridge before with no problems.

The driver got a ticket for being overweight and could get more.

The Fryer Bridge was built in 1890. It is 130 feet long and was put on the list of National Historic Places in May 2004.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 11, 2011, by Wayne Kizziar (wayne1701 [at] cableone [dot] net)

I found it and I am beyond words , here it is.

Conway County bridge collapses after truck crosses

By ArkansasOnline

A truck crossing Fryer Bridge in Conway County caused the 121-year-old bridge to collapse Monday, a local news website reported.

The Sweet H2O truck, weighing almost 9 tons, made it over the bridge, with a weight limit of 3 tons, before it fell, and no one was injured, KHTV reported on its website. The driver was cited for exceeding the weight limit.

Fryer Bridge, built in 1890, was added to the list of National Historic Places in May 2004.

This article was published today 4-11-11 at 3:11 p.m.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 11, 2011, by Wayne Kizziar (wayne1701 [at] cableone [dot] net)

NO! NO! NO! Does anyone know what happened to cause this ? I can't find any news on the web.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 11, 2011, by anonymous (texasman107 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Fryer's Bridge. RIP

1890-2011

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 11, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Huh?

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted April 11, 2011, by Jeremy (jebrown345 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

as of today it is no longer open to be on but it has not want down yet but the cops has closed it down

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted March 28, 2011, by Chris Litherland (photolitherland [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge was something else. Ive never seen something like it in the state and that its still open to traffic was pretty cool. While there a couple days ago, a few trucks passed over the bridge, it creaked mighty loudly. Hopefully when this bridge is eventually replaced, which will most likely happen in the not too distant future, they will at least preserve it. I dont understand why they cant just repair these old bridges, instead of building a new one. Its got to be cheaper to rehab instead of building a new one. Heres some photos I took a couple days ago while there.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted October 10, 2010, by Todd D. Walker (mrwalk08 [at] aol [dot] com)

This is a gem of a bridge and would be quaint to come across on a nice drive. It is in the woods and very appealing. Too bad the nitwit local vandals took access to it. Painting a dirty word on it brings a bad after-taste.

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted October 10, 2010, by Jordan Baker (texasman107 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge is amazing. I been on that bridge hundreds of times. Its got a rich history to it!

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted December 20, 2009, by brad (widding [at] gmail [dot] com)

still a gorgeous bridge

Fryer's Ford Bridge
Posted August 2, 2009, by bradley (widding [at] gmail [dot] com)

visited 8.2.09. amazing bridge. very much like the ones near wooster i remember as a kid. in great shape and several vehicles crossed while i was there. many trees were down all around it from the tornado of 6.15.09 that hit solgohachia including some branches on top of the bridge. the was still some yellow sheriff's tape laying around from, i assume, the road and bridge being closed from the storm. giant trees ripped up by the roots but the bridge stood strong!

Fry Bridge
Posted February 24, 2007, by Fred Garcia (fandsgarcia [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited this bridge on 7 Nov. 2006 at 3:15 pm. There is plenty of annoying grafitti on the main structural members and on the weight limit signs. Several vehicles crossed this bridge while I was there. Difficult to get a good profile photo because of overgrowth and Point Remove Creek was big at the time. Bridge appears to be sound. I see that this bridge is claimed to be built in 1890. Doesn't seem that old, but ...

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

Fry Bridge
Posted January 10, 2007, by Daniel Arnold (oak_grove99 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

You may have seen that on the AETN special a while back on old bridges in Arkansas. Yes, this is the oldest bridge in Arkansas still open to vehicular traffic. 117 years and counting!

Fry Bridge
Posted January 3, 2007, by charles bowden (mtmn96 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

i cannot remember where i saw this status, but isn't the Fry Bridge the oldest "in use" thru truss bridge in Arkansas ? can someone verify this please