Old Canyon Diablo Bridge
Canyon Diablo Old Hwy Bridge
Photo taken by Craig Philpott
BH Photo #190154
Canyon Diablo historically formed a barrier to the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, delaying its construction progress across northern Arizona in 1881 as the track-building crew waited for timbers to build a trestle here. The Santa Fe Highway, which loosely followed the
railroad, also encountered this rocky chasm just west of Two Guns in
Coconino County. In 1914 Arizona State Engineer Lamar Cobb selected and surveyed the site for a bridge over the canyon and purchased plans and specifications for a long-span concrete arch from the Topeka
Bridge & Iron Company of Kansas for $500. Topeka designed a standard 128-foot Luten arch similar to the one the company had completed over Canyon Padre earlier that year.
Like the Canyon Padre structure, the Canyon Diablo bridge featured a 16-foot-wide roadway that cantilevered over the arch's spandrels on both sides. The arch sprang from concrete abutments that featured Luten's trademark elliptical profile. The volatile nature of the watercourse was illustrated by the concrete parapet walls; the downstream wall was pierced with slots, while the upstream wall was solid to protect the roadway from floodwaters. Late in 1914 the state engineer's office let the construction contract to the lowest bidder, Thomas Maddock of Williams, Arizona, for $9,000. Using concrete and reinforcing steel supplied by the state, Maddock built the Canyon Diablo Bridge that winter. It was opened to traffic on March 17, 1915. Maddock himself later succeeded Cobb as the Arizona State Engineer. The Canyon Diablo Bridge and the adjacent roadway carried mainline traffic until the highway was rerouted in the 1930s. The bridge now stands abandoned in unaltered condition.
- Concrete filled spandrel Luten arch bridge over Canyon Diablo on County Road, formerly US 66
- Coconino County, Arizona
- Open to pedestrian traffic
- Built 1915, abandoned ca. 1940
- - Topeka Bridge & Iron Co.
- Closed Spandrel concrete arch.
Length of largest span: 128.0 ft.
Total length: 146.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1988
- Also called
- Two Guns Bridge
Route 66 Bridge
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +35.11563, -111.09553 (decimal degrees)
35°06'56" N, 111°05'44" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 12/491295/3885870 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Meteor Crater
- 5414 ft. above sea level
- Inventory numbers
- NRHP 88001664 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 46745 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- August 4, 2018: New photos from James McCray
- February 19, 2015: New photos from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
- August 6, 2013: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Added dates and details of construction
- December 9, 2010: New photos from Craig Philpott
- October 31, 2010: Added by Craig Philpott