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Old Canyon Diablo Bridge

Photos 

Canyon Diablo Old Hwy Bridge

Photo taken by Craig Philpott

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BH Photo #190154

Map 

Description 

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.

http://www.azdot.gov/highways/EPG/EPG_Common/PDF/Technical/A...

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.

Facts 

Overview
Concrete filled spandrel Luten arch bridge over Canyon Diablo on County Road, formerly US 66
Location
Coconino County, Arizona
Status
Open to pedestrian traffic
History
Built 1915, abandoned ca. 1940
Builder
- Topeka Bridge & Iron Co.
Design
Closed Spandrel concrete arch.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 128.0 ft.
Total length: 146.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.0 ft.
Recognition
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
Elevation
5414 ft. above sea level
Inventory numbers
NRHP 88001664 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 46745 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • 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

Sources 

Comments 

Canyon Diablo Old Highway Bridge
Posted June 26, 2016, by Regina watkins (Regina7watkins [at] gmail [dot] co)

My family and I visited the ruins at Two Guns AZ and took the dirt road leading to the arch bridge. When we came to the bridge we were uncertain of what to do. Hesitantly we crossed the bridge in two vehicals, a 12 passenger econoline and a Durango (we had a total of 13 passengers). Then we had to come back that way. I will never do it again, but I am glad to say the bridge proved to be sound.

Canyon Diablo Old Highway Bridge
Posted June 26, 2016, by Regina watkins (Regina7watkins [at] gmail [dot] co)

My family and I visited the ruins at Two Guns AZ and took the dirt road leading to the arch bridge. When we came to the bridge we were uncertain of what to do. Hesitantly we crossed the bridge in two vehicals, a 12 passenger econoline and a Durango (we had a total of 13 passengers). Then we had to come back that way. I will never do it again, but I am glad to say the bridge proved to be sound.