5 votes

MP - Yancopin Bridge


Yancopin Railroad Bridge

Photo taken from south bank of Arkansas River looking upstream.

Photo taken by J Randall Houp, August 30, 2008


BH Photo #225454

Bridge History: 

Written by J Randall Houp

Old Missouri-Pacific Railroad bridge built in 1903, that was discontinued being used in 1992. Along with attached trestles on both ends, this old beauty is well over a mile long making it one of the longest bridges in Arkansas. I "speculate" that this is the longest railroad bridge in Arkansas due to the fact that it is the last bridge on the Arkansas River before it enters into the Mississippi River, not too far downstream from this location. GREAT NEWS for all Arkansas bridgehunters! This bridge and a 72 mile section of this old railroad has been acquired by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism and will be turned it into a state park known as the, "DELTA HERITAGE HIKING TRAIL". It will run from near Lexa, in Phillips County, Arkansas south to near McGehee, in Desha County, Arkansas. Currently, 16 miles of this beautiful corrider has been completed running south out of Lexa, Arkansas. I found this bridge and her sister bridge across the White River at Benzel,on August 30, 2008 and have been back to both bridges two more times since. This whole area is known as the delta section of Arkansas. It is low land, very swampy, and full of snakes. I highly recommend 4 wheel drive, good hiking boots, and a lot of common sense when visiting this area. If you love birdwatching, this place is for you! Big area for hunters and fishermen and a lot of adjoining private property marked,"Keep Out, Hunting Club." Be careful!


Vertical lift through truss bridge over Arkansas River on Missouri Pacific Railroad
Desha County, Arkansas, and Arkansas County, Arkansas
Intact but closed to all traffic
Built 1903, ; Abandoned 1992
- Memphis, Helena & Louisiana Railway (MH&L)
- Missouri Pacific Railroad (MP)
- St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway (StLIM&S)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Several pass-through truss bridges which include one lift span and one swing span attached to long all wood railroad trestles at both ends running north and south.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+33.95497, -91.20640   (decimal degrees)
33°57'18" N, 91°12'23" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/665733/3758612 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 51321 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 21, 2019: Updated by Cliff Darby: Added category "Swing"
  • August 28, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Memphis, Helena & Louisiana Railway", "St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad", "Missouri Pacific Railroad", "Union Pacific Railroad"
  • August 28, 2013: New photos from Douglas Butler
  • February 21, 2012: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Added category "Railroad"
  • February 18, 2012: Essay added by J Randall Houp


  • J. Randall Houp
  • Douglas Butler


MP - Yancopin Bridge
Posted October 20, 2021, by Cliff Darby (cliffsta1987 [at] gmail [dot] com)

So cool seeing bridges that are both vertical-lift and swing, even if one of the movable spans is rendered inoperable. The Atchafalaya River bridge in Morgan City, LA, is another example.

MoPac - Yancopin Bridge
Posted June 25, 2020, by Barton Jennings (BE-Jennings [at] wiu [dot] edu)

The Railway Age of February 13, 1903, reported on the construction plans - The Missouri Pacific Railway Company has let contracts for the construction of bridges across the Arkansas and White rivers, about 30 miles north of Arkansas City, Ark. The two bridges are for the use of the Memphis, Helena & Louisiana, and are about two and one-half miles apart, with five miles of trestle. The bridges proper will be steel structures, consisting of two 300-foot and two 200-foot fixed spans, and one 440 and one 370-foot draw span, with foundations of concrete. The Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Works have the contract for the substructure, and the contract for the superstructure has been let to the American Bridge Company. H, Rohwer, chief engineer for the road.

The April 8, 1909, issue of Engineering News reported on the bridge being washed out. At the time, the bridge consisted of two through truss spans on the south end, sitting on Piers 1 through 3. The north end of the bridge consisted of the double ended draw which revolved on a center pier, known as Pier 4. Pier 5 was at the north end of the drawspan.

The September 1, 1917, issue of Railway Review reported that the Missouri Pacific had let a contract to the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company to install a lift type draw span over the new river channel.

Yancopin Railroad Bridge
Posted July 24, 2012, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Okay, I saw that on the bridge history description! Thank you anyway!

Yancopin Railroad Bridge
Posted July 24, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Arkansas River.

Yancopin Railroad Bridge
Posted July 24, 2012, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

What river does this bridge cross?