Petit Jean River Triple Bowstring Bridge
J. Randall Houp collection
I have too much history on this bridge, but would like to include a small piece which gives a good insight on the first bridge built at this location before the triple bowstring was constructed. It was an all wood bridge constructed in the 1870s. An early traveler would record the following note; "From Dardanelle we followed the region now traversed by hyway 7. Where we crossed the Petit Jean River, there was a toll bridge and we had to pay toll for everything that crossed, but this toll permitted us to pass over a long, real good bridge over a low flat ground that could hardly have been traveled over without a bridge, which was, as I remember, a quarter mile long, and had two places in its length wide enough for wagons to pass. I think it was just a short distance north of Ola. It was dark when we reached the end of the bridge, where we had to pull up a steep hill and go down another which was very rocky and came to a small stream where we camped for the night. It was reported that there was no one living on the route from where we crossed the Petit Jean River to near Hot Springs and that the territory was infested with robbers."