Rating:
2 votes

Frisco - Pocahontas Bridge

Photos 

Postcard

BH Photo #100987

Map 

Facts 

Overview
Lost through truss railroad bridge with a center swing span over Black River at Pocahontas
Location
Pocahontas, Randolph County, Arkansas
Status
Bridge removed, but several concrete piers remain
History
Built 1912, Lost 1986
Railroad
- St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (SLSF; Frisco)
Design
Swing Warren through truss
Also called
Frisco - Black River Bridge (Pocahontas)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+36.25897, -90.96795   (decimal degrees)
36°15'32" N, 90°58'05" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/682554/4014587 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Pocahontas
Inventory number
BH 10554 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 22, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added city
  • August 22, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler

Sources 

  • Douglas Butler
  • Luke

Comments 

Pocahontas Railroad Bridge
Posted May 10, 2012, by Robert L. Stephens (tylerhotel [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Daddy was born in Pocahontas in 1905. This bridge opened in 1912. We moved from Pocahontas when I was a baby but traveled back for visits in the late 1940s and 1950s. Daddy always pointed out the bridge, as well as the old ice plant near the Pochontas end where my grandfather had once been the chief engineer. In 1986 I took my own family for a visit, the first time I had been to the area in 30 years. They were preparing to dismantle the bridge just a few months after our visit. I later obtained a Pocahontas newspaper (dated 9 October 1986) which gave the story. They tried to pull the bridge off its foundations with cables and bulldozers, but the Old Lady won that battle. They finally had to use 20 sticks of dynamite to loosen it up enough to topple it. It took them almost a week to get that far, as if the bridge was fighting them. The bridge weighed an estimated two-million pounds, and when built was the longest swing bridge in the country. Amazing enough it swung by man-power alone. It was balanced well enough, and the gears were such, that two men would stand on the turn-stile with a T-shaped handle and turn the bridge with no help. Too bad it could not have been saved.