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Springfield Bridge



Original Cast Escucheon

Photo taken by Julie Bowers


Street View 


The new caissons installed in December, 2016 and the bridge restored and reset in April/May 2017.


Bowstring through truss bridge over Beaverfork Lake on Beaverfork Park Trailway
Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas
Under construction
The bridge was fabricated in 1871 but not installed over Cadron Creek until 1874. Removed November 2016 for relocation and restoration.
- Alfred Cook & James Allen (Contractors for 1874 Stone Abutments)
- George B. Preston (1874 Contractor For On-Site Erection)
- King Iron Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio (1871 Fabrication, at King Bridge Manufactory & Iron Works of Iola, Kansas) [also known as King Bridge Co.]
- Workin' Bridges / BACH Steel (2016-2017 Restoration)
Bowstring through truss
Length of largest span: 146.0 ft.
Total length: 186.0 ft.
Deck width: 12.0 ft.
Also called
Springfield-Des Arc Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.14147, -92.45380   (decimal degrees)
35°08'29" N, 92°27'14" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/549755/3888868 (zone/easting/northing)
302 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 74700 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 19, 2017: Updated by Julie Bowers: updated to reflect contractor and status
  • April 9, 2017: Updated by Julie Bowers: Changed name to reflect the current name use by City of Conway.
  • January 22, 2017: Updated by Dana and Kay Klein: Added category "Othmar H. Ammann Nominee"
  • December 23, 2016: New photos from Julie Bowers
  • December 22, 2016: Updated by Nathan Holth: Linked this page to original bridge page, added 1874 builders, added HAER docs for convienience.
  • December 22, 2016: New photos from Julie Bowers
  • December 8, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • December 8, 2016: Added by Julie Bowers

Related Bridges 



Springfield Bridge
Posted June 21, 2017, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Documentary continued with restoration of 2nd truss.

Springfield Bridge
Posted May 4, 2017, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Shoes and the beginning of the lower chord bars yesterday, posts and castings today.

Springfield Bridge
Posted May 2, 2017, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Lee saw the water moccasin yesterday on the crane pad. I am glad I did not. Rising water has displaced a lot of wildlife but still. When I heard they come to investigate the generator vibrations...oh dear.

The caissons look good, repairs to top chord breaks nearly done and are nearly invisible, yet stronger than ever.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 27, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yes, that document is great. I have made a couple rambling comments in the forum about the evolution of King Bowstrings, (with a Whipple thrown in) but it is nice to see it presented so clearly with photographs. This document really explains it very clearly to those who don't spend as much time looking at bridge components as we do.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 27, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Awesome stuff! Liked the page and the history document is... As my 18 year old daughter would put it "Dope!".

Nels and the gang got it going on... And yes Juls, keep doin' your Thang!

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 26, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Seriously, folks if you have not liked that page, you need to do so. It has been great to follow the progress on this awesome Bowstring. I wish I could be there in person, but the status updates are the next best thing.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 26, 2017, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

and a nice picture of the beginning -

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 26, 2017, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

A new Facebook page for photos of the reassembly at Springfield Bridge. Check it out. or more pictures at Bach Steel or Workin' Bridges and anywhere else we can think of.

Fundraiser in place to "Paint the Rail" - looking for naming rights to 8' sections of riveted and laced railing or the riveted vertical posts between - $450 / $50.

Pledges Only Now to see if the goal of $15,000 can be met. The rail arrives tomorrow.

We know (and you all know) that the magic begins with the reassembly, but the hard work that it took from all involved, city, county, state, fed was substantial. (I guess that is my thang Tony).

But, what was started is now on it's way to completion. Here's a glimpse of the history that we compiled and Nathan produced.

Attachment #1 (application/pdf; 894,034 bytes)

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 21, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Great to see this one coming together after all the delays!

Nels and his gang are top notch, and Juls just keeps doin' her thing! ;-)

And Robert we have such a great collaboration of souls here on BH, I like to think it helps bring some of these projects to fruition!

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 20, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks for the feedback. I am always glad to share my observations. Nathan, Tony, and others have given me a lot of good insight as to what to look for.

It is great to have new folks joining this website. We need more folks to see the value in preserving historic bridges of all types. This Bowstring is a great example.

Julie, Nels, and the gang have done so much for us Bridgehunters. Hopefully there will be many more success stories such as this one.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 20, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

Robert thank you, you have no idea how much some of us learn when you get on a roll! It is much appreciated.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 20, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Awesome news! I can't wait to see this one in place! Even if I cannot make the dedication, hopefully, I can see the finished product someday. Thanks to Workin' Bridges, some of these great structures have a bright future.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 20, 2017, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The stage is set. Thank you Faulkner County roaks department. What a crew! We are fortunate.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 20, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Springfield and Clark's Creek represent a Tale of Two Kings. They both work together to interpret the evolution of King Iron Bridge Co. engineering.

The Springfield Bridge is a great example of an early King Bowstring Bridge. The outriggers are cruciform (star iron), but they contain no lacing. If you look at some of King's later Bowstrings, you will notice that the outriggers feature lacing on the verticals. In addition, many King Bowstring through spans feature unique wrought iron tubes for the sway bracing. You can see these tubes along with the latticed outriggers on the 1878 Old Military Bridge in Bourbon County, Kansas


Now, knowing this, we can begin to appreciate the true significance of the 1878 Clarks Creek Whipple Truss in Geary County, Kansas.


The Clarks Creek Bridge also features those wrought iron tubes, which are again used for sway bracing. It appears that King simply took this Bowstring feature and incorporated it into their early Whipple truss design. These tubes are not found on any other remaining King Whipple trusses, all of which are newer than the Clarks Creek Bridge.

The Clarks Creek Bridge features latticed vertical members which became a standardized feature on truss bridges of all types in the 1870s and 1880s. The vertical members on the Clarks Creek Bridge are exceptionally lightweight. In addition, the Clarks Creek Bridge has other features that are commonly found on very old trusses. These include fishbelly floor beams and somewhat non-standardized connections. While there are other King Whipple trusses still extant, the Clarks Creek Bridge is the oldest of them all. No other King Whipple trusses have even remotely the same appearance.

To summarize, the Springfield Bridge is an example of a very early King Bowstring and the Clarks Creek Bridge is a very early example of a King Whipple. In fact, it is the oldest known non-Bowstring King bridge in existence. The Old Military Bridge helps us to see the continuum of engineering between the two of them. All three of these bridges are of extremely high national significance. One of the three is being restored by Workin' Bridges. Hopefully the other two can be saved as well.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 20, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

Hard to decide Clarks Creek VS Springfield..... guess the Othmar H Ammann crew already did. Seems like this bridge, and crew should be nominated for best restored when its done. Jason know they aren't open but this is VERY significant bridge, being saved by THE team. What category would you suggest?

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 19, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yes, definitely. I think that it was a nominee.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 19, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

HMMM another bridge of the year possibility!

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 19, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I wish I was in the area, because I would definitely drop by. This is a great development. I hope to see it someday.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 19, 2017, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

a Meet n Greet will be held Saturday to go over the craftsman's record on this bridge in conjunction with the Faulkner County Historical Society. If you are in the area, we would love to see you stop by. James Baughn you are not that far away!.

The gangs all here (soon) and the reassembly and reset begins for the final push.

You can order a t-shirt.

Springfield-Des Arc Bridge
Posted April 9, 2017, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Examples of the craftsmans work, we've seen master and apprentice work, pick marks on the side of cruciform, numbers on the trusses. now that w

It is blasted it is easy to see forge c welds too. .... not painting this one.

Springfield-Des Arc
Posted December 9, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

that bridge is no longer over Cadron Creek. This is noting the new location - the City of Conway uses both names.

Springfield-Des Arc
Posted December 8, 2016, by Anonymous

Is this the same bridge as http://bridgehunter.com/ar/faulkner/cadron/