Visited this bridge on 3 & 4 July 2010. Tried to visit in early May but access roads were all submerged by Lake Nimrod. Lake level appeared to have been up to at least the bridge deck level as debris has accumulated on the bridge and lodged underneath. Lake has been drasticly drawndown and corrosion is visible on the lower third of the Lanny columns. The running boards are in deplorable condition and completely missing on one track of the south approach. Many loose, warped, dislocated or rotted boards. The decking timbers however appear to be sound. Bridge metal 'clanks' when vehicles drive across. Noticed that long ago metal plates were cheek welded to the vertical supporting members. The bridge is safe to drive across and I did so on both visit days, once in a Toyota Corolla and again in a Ford Van. I will add a few photos to this posting to show some additional details, mainly that the connection pins are held in place by large cotter pins (usually it is with large nuts). Also wanted to show the underneath structure.
So exactly how safe is this bridge to cross? It looks a bit scary not having any guard rails and such. I'm not sure if that area gets and Ice or Snow but it would be a bit hard driving across it with Snow or Ice. It looks Beautiful tho!
Visited the Wards Crossing Bridge today, 12 Nov. 06, and it has much of the same characteristics of the Old River Bridge on the Saline in Benton. I asked a few people I encountered about date built, but none were in the know. Does anyone have data about when built, length of span, etc. I'm sure it was there before Lake Nimrod was created. Bridge is regularly used especially now during hunting season. Some of the running boards have decayed. I was walking on the bridge when a pickup drove across and the bridge seemed pretty sound. Appears to be higher above surface water than most pin connected's. I could get decent photos of the entire bridge from the south bank about 200 yards upstream. Both approaches are ramped like the Wallace Bridge and you almost have to drive slightly up the approach to see if any vehicles are coming across. No guard rails on the bridge or ramps.
In the same day i first found the historic Bowstring bridge on the Petit Jean, i later got to go to and photograph this beautiful long camel back truss bridge on the Fourche (the photos to be posted here are Wayne's, not mine). THANKS again to BOB KNIGHT, he directed me to this bridge also. this bridge is great and in a beautiful spot on the river, ENJOY.