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Springfield Bridge

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Photos 

Overview

Photo taken April 2004 by Wayne Kizziar

Map 

Description 

We are finding lots of interesting details as the disassembly begins. It appears that the bridge was contracted a bit backward because the vertical posts do not line up at each end. 9'4" on one end and 10'4" on the other. We will put it back together correctly in the new location at Lake Beaver Fork.

Facts 

Overview
Iron bowstring truss bridge over Cadron Creek near Springfield on the Conway-Faulkner County line
Location
Faulkner County, Arkansas, and Conway County, Arkansas
Status
Removed from Cadron Creek to be relocated.
Future prospects
Removed November 9 by Workin' Bridges / BACH Steel.
History
Completed July 1874 by the King Bridge Manufactory & Iron Works of Iola, Kansas, a branch of the King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. Bypassed by a new bridge 1991. Fabrication date circa 1871, a controversy with the two counties delayed set.
Builders
- 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.]
Design
Bowstring through truss, very light construction.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 146.0 ft.
Total length: 188.0 ft.
Deck width: 11.5 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 21, 1988
Also called
Springfield-Des Arc Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.25270, -92.51271   (decimal degrees)
35°15'10" N, 92°30'46" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/544329/3901175 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Springfield
Inventory numbers
NRHP 88000660 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 10330 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 22, 2016: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added and described role of builders.
  • November 10, 2016: Updated by Julie Bowers: Bridge has been preserved by relocation by Faulkner County / Conway Arkansas
  • March 25, 2014: New photos from J. Randall Houp
  • September 12, 2011: New photo from Gene McCluney
  • August 19, 2011: New photo from Lisa Hyde
  • June 8, 2011: New photo from Luke Harden
  • April 3, 2011: Updated by Anthony Dillon: Tweaked the coordinates a bit

Related Bridges 

Sources 

Comments 

Springfield Bridge
Posted August 11, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looking great! When your bridge is on the verge of collapse, just call Julie, Nels, Rivet and the Gang!

Springfield Bridge
Posted August 11, 2017, by Julie Bowers

Finished it up . It looks lovely.

Springfield Bridge
Posted November 28, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Actually, the bridge parts have been sent to Little Rock for blasting off of lead paint and lichen. The bridge will be restored by BACH Steel on site. BACH will be fabricating new caissons at Beaverfork Lake and the lattice and riveted railings in Holt, Michigan in the next month. The lift and disassembly went pretty well. There are several castings and the channel missing where something went through the bridge, there is a fix to a broken shoe that had been repaired very early. There is little pack rust or rivet replacement that is required, although every inch will be inspected. The vertical cruciform is in remarkable condition. The differences in 1871 created parts to 1881 parts is the fun part of the archaeology of the craft. The spacers in the lower chord vary as well. Zenas King...wish I had his journals.

Here are a few pictures that I just downloaded, then I'm off to inspect blasting and meet with the survey crew to mark the spots. The coolest part of this whole thing is the working together between the City, the County, BACH Steel, the crane company and trucking. It's been remarkable and the cost savings with everyone doing their own best things is significant. It's an expensive project at $508,370 but that doesn't include what those other jurisdictions included, road in, tree removal, crane pad, people that cared about their work.

Springfield Bridge
Posted November 27, 2016, by Randy Higgins

The Springfield Bridge has been removed, disassembled, and sent to Little Rock to be refurbished. It will be reassembled and placed across a small cove on Beaverfork Lake outside of Conway in Faulkner County.

Springfield Bridge
Posted November 10, 2016, by Charles Hale (chuckchuck [at] conwaycorp [dot] net)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCjSvXg0Ea0

This is the youtube video of the bridge lifting from the Cadron's banks.

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 16, 2016, by Randy Higgins

Preliminary work by the Faulkner County Road Department has started in preparation to relocate and restore the bridge. Photo taken October 16, 2016

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 12, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

W'B finds this news thrilling, and can't wait to get to Arkansas. We have the right team with Nels and the Gang from BACH Steel and the locals, Randy at Best Crane, the city and county. This one may be a documentary as well.

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/oct/06/preliminary-w...

Springfield Bridge
Posted July 14, 2016, by Andy Peters (anpete1971 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Beginning in late August, Bell said, the tedious, detailed job of moving the 1874 Springfield-Des Arc bridge to Beaverfork Lake in Conway will begin.

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/jul/14/august-set-ta...

Springfield Bridge
Posted July 8, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hopefully we will see more of these success stories. As word gets out about Workin' Bridges, perhaps more communities will want to save their abandoned trusses.

Springfield Bridge
Posted July 8, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This truly is an incredible success story, and as Julie notes, so many different people, organizations, and companies played a role in making this happen... this is the way preservation should be! I would like to add one more acknowledgement which is to Preserve Arkansas (Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas) who were kind enough to accept my nomination of this bridge and to include it on the 2015 "Most Endangered" list. Please see attached. I believe this listing was/is important to help raise local awareness of the bridge. A final outcome of preservation that averts a potential loss is exactly what these Most Endangered lists are intended to do.

One other thing: This will be the first in-kind restoration of a historic metal bridge in Arkansas!

Attachment #1 (application/pdf; 3,870,391 bytes)

Springfield Bridge
Posted July 8, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

We are delighted to take on the restoration of Springfield-Des Arc Bowstring. Nels Raynor and the BACH Steel Rivet Gang will be in charge of the lift, disassembly and putting it all back together again at Lake Beaverfork, just north of Conway. This agreement is with the City of Conway and the new location will be over water with views from Route 25. We appreciate how long this has taken from our first site visit in 2011. Three Judges and the City, Ken Barnes and local preservationists kept this fire alive. Engineering by Jim Schiffer, PE of Schiffer Group has begun and Jim will be on the ground in Arkansas next week.

Springfield Bridge
Posted June 1, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

more about this project here. W'B meets with the city on Tuesday to develop the plan and schedule.

http://m.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/may/29/1874-bridge-be-...

Springfield Bridge
Posted May 26, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

City of Conway Council Meeting Summary May 24th, 2016 www.cityofconway.org

On this date the City Council of the City of Conway, Arkansas met in regular session. The following members being a quorum were present and acting; Alderman Hawkins, Alderman Grimes, Alderwoman Mehl, Alderman Pruitt, Alderman Ledbetter, Alderwoman Smith, and Alderwoman Isby. Also, present and acting: Mayor Tab Townsell, City Clerk/Treasurer Michael O. Garrett & Deputy City Attorney Graham Jones. Alderman Jones was not present.

R-16-16 Resolution expressing the willingness of the City of Conway to utilize federal aid funds for the relocation of the Springfield/Des Arc Bridge. Vote 7-0

Springfield Bridge
Posted May 18, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Workin' Bridges is off to a meeting in Conway, Arkansas on June 7 to meet with the city about getting this construction project started. This will be the beginning of the conversation for the contract to get in their and get this vintage treasure saved. The plan is to move it into Conway now, where it will reside near a lake and be quite visible from Highway 25.

Kenneth Barnes took on this project years ago, and was able to use our Scope of Work and Estimate, to go with a grant application from Conway for TAP funds.

Given the HAER documentation, and our work with other King Bowstrings, this project is one we have been waiting to help with for 5 years. We look forward to meeting with potential volunteers and finding ways where the community can be part of the process.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 23, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Great news to hear of this long awaited save!

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 23, 2016, by J. Randall Houp (ghostbridgehunter [at] yahoo [dot] com)

GREAT NEWS!!! The Springfield Bridge is being saved. Thanks to Kenneth Barnes, a history professor in Conway, Arkansas, this bridge is going to be moved to a hiking-jogging trail in Faulkner County where it will be completely restored. Money needed for this project has already been approved and has the full support of the City of Conway and the County of Faulkner. This is definitely not a rumor or hear-say. More updates as soon as they are received. J.R.H.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 23, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Springfield Bowstring was awarded TAP funding for removal from this location, restoration using Workin' Bridges numbers from years ago and a new home in a park by a lake in Conway. Here is to the historian Ken Barnes who took up the reins for the project and the Mayor of Conway and other public and private friends that are making this preservation of a very rare King Iron Bridge Co bowstring happen.

Action is happening and kudos to this website and others for the forum it provides. These photographs were taken in 2011. Thanks.

Springfield Bridge
Posted March 7, 2016, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Mid January 2016 pic. Is the buckling/distortion getting worse?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cormackphotos/24251005099/

Springfield Bridge
Posted December 30, 2015, by david (dcg [dot] 1380 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I really hope this bridge is ok with all this flooding..

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 18, 2015, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Stupid me.My companion filled me in that this was a Halloween prank that I fell for.Thanks luke for looking into this.

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 17, 2015, by Luke

Ladies, gentleman, break out the garlic and the silver bullets.

(Seriously though, it's spam.)

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 17, 2015, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

What does being a so called vampire have to do with bridges?As far as I know Hollywood made vampires famous and any educated person knows vampires are not and never will be real.As for this bridge hopefully it can be saved.

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 17, 2015, by Noel Dernersessian (noel [dot] dernersessian [at] gmail [dot] com)

Iím Noel Dernersessian from the United States, I want share with you how i became a vampire. this something i have dream of all my life and i said to myself that i we do and give anything to belong to this family. Today with the help of Mr. Enrique am a full member of that family today. All i need was a blood to turn and him provided me with that and today and stronger, faster, hear from afar and many other qualities all thanks to him. If you dream of becoming one here is his contacts worldofvampir@hotmail.com

Springfield Bridge
Posted August 15, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
Springfield Bridge
Posted May 8, 2015, by Gosnell (jlgosnell [at] gmail [dot] com)
Springfield Bridge
Posted March 25, 2014, by J. Randall Houp (ghostbridgehunter [at] yahoo [dot] com)

My wife & I again visited this bridge on March 15, 2014 and found it in a deplorable condition. If something isn't done soon to once again restore this historic relic, we will be losing Arkansas' oldest bridge. Vandalism & graffiti has also taken a heavy toll. It is not known why Conway County officials are NOT taking care of this bridge. It would make a great park,campground,or destination for a hiking trail.

Springfield Bridge
Posted March 1, 2014, by Randy Higgins (randy [at] cyberback [dot] com)

I went by the bridge on the morning of March 1, 2014, to take some pictures and discovered the bridge had been burned. Looks to me like vandalism.

Springfield Bridge
Posted July 24, 2013, by Eilish Palmer (eilishpalmer [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Visited yesterday and it is in bad shape. The previous post about the fire is true. A large part of the bridge has burned. it is also listing quite a bit.

Springfield Bridge
Posted June 30, 2013, by Carrie (firestarter1976 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I've lived in Faulkner County my entire life (37 years) and was unaware of this bridge's existance until today. I've thoroughly enjoyed looking at the pictures everyone has posted. This bridge is beautiful. Sadly, the only reason I was made aware of this bridge is because it caught fire yesterday (unknown reason...possibly fireworks or a campfire from below it) and was still burning today. I'm not sure how much is left of it, but thought that all of you would like to know.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 5, 2013, by Julie bowers (Jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Faulkner County had a big tornado two years ago, damage to their roads from oil & gas play, and now the Mayflower oil spill. Perhapsvexxon will fund a bridge park!!!!!

Springfield Bridge
Posted March 19, 2013, by Julie bowers (Jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Just spoke with the newly appointed judge down there who has a couple years and a desire to see this one restored.

We love this bridge.

Springfield Bridge
Posted March 19, 2013, by bradley widding (widding [at] gmail [dot] com)

visited in march of 2013. deck is disappearing fast and some kids have taken to it with some spray paint. still gorgeous.

Springfield Bridge
Posted August 9, 2011, by Mary Massery (bride2be22 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

We were able to visit the Springfield Bridge July 30, 2011 and I was blown away by it's beauty! I was so saddened that it had just been left to rot away until I read everyone's posts on here that said it was going to be preserved! Super excited about that! It's a gorgeous piece of history!! Since finding this bridge, we have begun a little "bridge hunt". It's so interesting to see things built from way back when. Would love to share some pictures that I took at the Springfield Bridge and will continue sharing as we visit more. :)

Springfield Bridge
Posted June 9, 2011, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

County got tornadoes but the Judge is still working on the project. WE've given them the base estimate, and the engineering will have to be very creative on this one. Glad to know it is still standing.

Springfield Bridge
Posted June 8, 2011, by Fred Garcia (fandsgarcia [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited the Springfield Bridge on 6 June 2011 at 1 pm. The original access road is barely discernible. Bridge timbers are in maximum decayed condition - unsafe. West bank abutment stonework needs stabilization. Glad to read that Workin' Bridges is preparing to commence rehab work in the near future. It was obvious by the mud line that Cadron Creek had been up to the bridge deck level recently. Mosquito's were numerous and vicious. Will be attaching one photo taken from the east bank approach (side that once held the plaque). Observed a dumped recliner chair in the water on the downstream side of the bridge.

Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.

Springfield Bridge
Posted June 8, 2011, by Fred Garcia (fandsgarcia [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited the Springfield Bridge on 6 June 2011 at 1 pm. The original access road is barely discernible. Bridge timbers are in maximum decayed condition - unsafe. West bank abutment stonework needs stabilization. Glad to read that Workin' Bridges is preparing to commence rehab work in the near future. It was obvious by the mud line that Cadron Creek had been up to the bridge deck level recently. Mosquito's were numerous and vicious. Will be attaching one photo taken from the east bank approach (side that once held the plaque). Observed a dumped recliner chair in the water on the downstream side of the bridge.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 9, 2011, by David Backlin (us71 [at] cox [dot] net)

According to the Log Cabin Democrat (Conway, Arkansas) the bridge was repaired in 1934: the deck was replaced and approaches repaired.

http://thecabin.net/stories/060209/loc_0602090007.shtml

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 9, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Yes it is indeed great news that the county has chosen to retain this important span as a piece of local history. I don't think without intervention it will last too much longer.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 9, 2011, by Chris litherland (Photolitherland [at] gmail [dot] com)

Oh man that's great news. Weird that I randomly found this bridge just like 2 weeks ago and thought it was pretty much doomed and then a few days later people are going out there to restore it. You don't hear very much good news ever for bridge preservation.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 9, 2011, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Workin' Bridges is doing the plan for the restoration and rehabilitation of this bridge after a visit on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The county plans to keep it as a destination park. It needs a lot of work but we are up to a rehab in place that will fix the piers and the parts that have been worked on in the past, plus redecking.

The craftsman's record shows that this early bow had the floor beams above the eyebars, which is different than the McIntrye's design. Pretty cool to be able to document the record.

Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 3, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is awesome news to hear Julie!....As it sounds as if the bridge won't last much longer without intervention.

From all the pictures I have seen this is a beautiful area if it is feasible to restore the span on site. But judging by the flooding; bank erosion and condition of the abutments, it might be better to move it to a park or trail.

Of course it has been able to stand where it is for some 137 years!

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 3, 2011, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The county has just hired Workin' Bridges to do the site analysis and get them going on how to save this bridge. We will be down there this week. Thanks for the up to date pictures.

Springfield Bridge
Posted March 28, 2011, by Chris Litherland (photolitherland [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge is incredible, its a shame it probably wont last much longer. Just was there a couple days ago and the bank is sure inching closer and closer to the stone pilings :( But as for now, its still there but just barely.

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 29, 2010, by david guess (dcguess92 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

i read on the internet while researching that when they bypasses this bridge they were supposed to rehabilitate it and build a park around it... what happened to that? :( that would save a beautiful peice of our history from sitting there and rotting

Springfield Bridge
Posted June 18, 2010, by david g (dcguess92 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

just wondering does anyone know what year this bridge was closed to traffic? was it before it was bypassed or what?

Springfield Bridge
Posted May 4, 2010, by bradley widding (widding [at] gmail [dot] com)

last picture i will post... i promise...

Springfield Bridge
Posted April 22, 2010, by bradley widding (widding [at] gmail [dot] com)

and this is what she looks like with all the brush cleared off...

Springfield Bridge
Posted February 18, 2010, by Eddie Douthitt (eddied62 [at] windstream [dot] net)

We just recenty had a similar experience. We went to Cedartown, GA to photograph an old pony truss I found while looking at Google Earth. The bridge is on a road that there is nothing else on except an abandoned farmhouse. I noticed on the way in that people had been dumping old tires, constuction waste, and other stuff. Being the prowler that I am, I decided to look through the "treasures" on the way back out. While looking around I heard a weak "Meow", looked down and there was 2 kittens that someone had dumped. This was a cold day (30's), the kitens were half starved, so needless to say, our bridge hunting was over for the day and we have 2 new additions to our family.

Springfield Bridge
Posted February 17, 2010, by John (arkansas_john2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

To all concerned: Last Thanksgiving (2009), my wife and I visited this old bridge. Since it's 8 miles from our house, we go there and have picnics sometimes. On Thanksgiving Day, we found an abandond German Shephard puppy someone had dumped. The puppy was very hungry living under the old bridge. We gave him our lunch as he needed it worse than we did.

Friday, we returned to rescue this puppy and find him a good home. He had such a nice personality. When we arrived at the bridge, we found the puppy dead. Someone had shot him in the head probably Friday morning sometime.

We buried the puppy under the 1874 old bridge he called his home. Then, we decided to clean up this old bridge and dedicate it to the puppy who called it his home.

After December 2009, those visiting the bridge will find the weeds and saplings removed. We swept the bridge off pretty nicely. We are planning to add back some of the wood planks as well as maybe even paint this bridge.

This is Arkansas's oldest still standing bridge. If anyone would like to help us keep this bridge for prosperity, this would be very nice. You can contact me at arkansas_john2000@yahoo.com.

Springfield Bridge
Posted January 13, 2010, by Nathan T.

I was able to see this bridge about a week ago. I have to say that the bridge is impressive for such old age. For those that have driven over this bridge in years past and others that have been long forgotten....at least you have that memory.

Many young people today will never have that experience. In fact, many of those will probably never even care about old bridges. What a shame.....

Great Bridge though.....reminds me of better times and a world that use to turn much slower.

Springfield Bridge
Posted January 2, 2010, by Rebecca Barnes (rebecca [dot] barnes [at] ymail [dot] com)

I grew up on the Cadron and in the house before you get to the bridge on Springfield side. My family still lives in the area. It is so nice to the photos....bitter sweet i suppose. I would go for walks to the bridge with my mom, dad, and sister many times. Many memories and stories from my Dad about growing up there have been shared about when he was a little boy and older. I was reading the various comments below. Vampire bridge? lol how interesting...i never had heard that before. Thanks for taking wonderful photos!!!

Springfield Bridge
Posted November 7, 2009, by bradley (widding [at] gmail [dot] com)

sept vs nov 2009

Springfield Bridge
Posted November 7, 2009, by bradley (widding [at] gmail [dot] com)

was able to get to the bridge today. not as bad as i thought. some decking is gone. a huge section of the bank has collapsed. i did not cross under as the remain part had some cracking ans looked like it could go too.

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 31, 2009, by Terry (zecatfish (at) gmail (dot) com)

We are having tremendous flooding along the cadron creek and Oct 1 09 I took pictures of the bridge again.

The creek bank is washing away, it was only about 15 feet from reaching the foundation rocks on the eat side of the bridge.

If I had to guess, and it keep raining we will loose this Historic bridge in the next year or less.

When the water drops again I'll get fresh pictures.

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 30, 2009, by joey (got_nothin_to_loose [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I've been going out here for years. My friends and I call it the Vampire Bridge. we've heard all sorts of stories about it. who knows what is real and what is false though.

Right before you get to bono there is an old abandoned house on the left. Its falling apart and looks like somthing that needs to be tore down... anyone have any info on that house?

Springfield Bridge
Posted September 7, 2009, by widding@gmail.com (bradley)

was in the area and decided to visit the bridge again.

Springfield Bridge
Posted July 8, 2009, by brad (widding [at] gmail [dot] com)

saw this bridge for the 1st time 7.8.09. i was amazed at how good of shape it is in. it is literally in the middle of the woods. there is no road to get to it. you can barely see it from the new bridge.

Springfield Bridge
Posted August 23, 2008, by Ali (amcfadzen [at] nwacc [dot] edu)

Can anyone tell me how I would get to the Springfield Bridge from the Bentonville area? I am new to the area and am unfamiliar with how to get to this location. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!

Ali

Springfield Bridge
Posted August 8, 2008, by Jeff Crain (jcrain [at] cinci [dot] rr [dot] com)

I grew up in Mobile, AL, but my grandmother lived in Springfield. We would visit her every summer when I was a kid. My first request when we got there was to go drive over the "cattern bottom bridge" (I never knew it was spelled "Cadron" until I was an adult). At that time, you could drive over it. And we did - it was a shortcut to Aunt Weleetka's house in Greenbriar. I've actually been swimming in the Cadron Creek near the bridge, in spite of the water moccasins (and I've seen some huge ones there!).

I'm really glad the bridge is still standing. It brings back some fond memories of my childhood. Thanks for sharing this.

Springfield Bridge
Posted February 17, 2008, by elizabeth (xoxlizzybaby [at] aol [dot] com)

wat would I pick for the strongest bridge out of Truss or Arc bridge and why?

Springfield Bridge
Posted September 30, 2007, by Keith Stell Harris (kharris [at] psych-science [dot] com)

I'm amazed to see photos of this bridge on the internet! I rode over it in uncle's old truck, walked over it on foot while hunting, and fished from it during summers back in the '50s. Didn't know it was still there.

Springfield Bridge
Posted May 19, 2007, by Sam Sawyer (sawyersps112 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

I attended the University of Central Arkansas in Conway from the spring of 1975 through the spring of 1978. During that time I must have driven on every gravel road in Faulkner County - there couldn't have been many I missed. Chances are that I crossed this bridge at some point but I don't know for sure. Then during the early 1990s, I visited an old college buddy who was living in Conway, and we went driving up that way. We saw the old Springfield Bridge as we approached the modern bridge that replaced it. We stopped and walked out on the old bridge, neither of us aware that it was the oldest bridge still standing in Arkansas (as I understand it), having been built in 1874, etc. I found out about its history in late 2005 or early 2006, so my brother and I drove up to the bridge on April 1, 2006. Yeah, it was April Fool's Day, but never mind that. I took some photos, but none that show anything you haven't already seen on this website, with two exceptions. Attached are two photos of a Black Rat Snake that was at least temporarily making itself at home on the bridge.

Springfield Bridge
Posted March 19, 2007, by Jennifer Jones (kitkat_924 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Living in this area, I have visited this bridge numerous times and am still awed by it. Even in it's deteriorated condition, it is still unique and beautiful, and worth making the trip to visit. For me, my ancestors lived in Springfield in the mid 1800's, and to think they traveled across this bridge often makes it even more special for me. As the oldest bridge in Arkansas, I wish someone could preserve it a little before it completely rots and falls into the Creek. I've also seen where other towns have relocated old bridges to parks and restored it in order to preserve the history of it. Either way, maybe someone can help this one before it's too late.

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

Visted this bridge on 7 Nov. 2006 at 2:00 pm. I had visited this bridge about 15 years ago and it has deteriorated considerably. The old road bed has been blocked and is overgrown on the east side. A large section of deck planks are missing from the west side. One 10 or 12 ft. plank has been relocted to be able to walk across "CAREFULLY". Leaf litter accumulation was considerable and has accelerated decay. It is still worth seeing and studying. It cannot be seen from the county road except during "leaf off". Not visible from replacement bridge 200 yds. upstream.

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

Springfield Bridge
Posted October 12, 2006, by K & S Spangler (cooleycreek [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

My husband and I were curious to see this bridge in person. We were not familiar with the area, but we found the easiest way to get to this bridge is to travel North on Hwy 25 out of Conway to 285 North to Bono. Turn left (west) onto Springfield Road; travel approx 1.5 miles. Just before the new concrete bridge look to the left (south) for a small dirt road. The old bridge cannot be seen from the new bridge. The historical marker that was placed on a large boulder is gone. Someone has cut out the remaining boards on the south end of the bridge so it is not easy to completely walk the bridge. This is a wonderful old bridge, full of character and was built with large timbers, iron, nuts and bolts to last. I hope someone will replace the plaque or erect some kind of info about this bridge at the site...maybe even replace the missing boards so it will be at least foot traffic passable. Thanks for this website! We plan to visit many more bridges!

Springfield Bridge
Posted June 7, 2006, by charles bowden (mtmn96 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

close to 20 years ago a local organization here in the Conway area put out a calender featuring this bridge. here in faulkner county, it is known as the "Springfield/Des Arc" bridge. the reason for that according to the caption on the calender is that this bridge lay on a prominent trade route. the road this bowstring was on connected Springfield and Conway county area to a major river port on the White river farther east at Des Arc in Prairie county.