Rating:
2 votes

Southwind Rail Trail - Elm Creek Bridge

Photos 

South Side

Photo taken by Robert Brock in March 2014

Enlarge

BH Photo #278329

Map 

Street View 

Description 

Strengthened using pieces from Bridge #533A over the Arkansas River

Facts 

Overview
Pratt through truss bridge over Elm Creek on Southwind Rail Trail
Location
Iola, Allen County, Kansas
Status
Open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic only
History
Built 1890, Approach Added 1900, Strengthened 1919
Railroads
- Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (ATSF)
- Rail-to-trail
Design
Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 164.0 ft.
Total length: 224.0 ft.
Also called
ATSF - Elm Creek Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.90858, -95.41044   (decimal degrees)
37°54'31" N, 95°24'38" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/288091/4198411 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Iola
Inventory number
BH 57790 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 4, 2017: Updated by John Marvig: Added Information from ATSF Bridge Book
  • May 22, 2017: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • March 9, 2017: New photos from John Marvig
  • June 13, 2016: New Street View added by Robert Elder
  • January 5, 2015: Updated by Randy Rasa: Updated status description to include bicycle traffic
  • March 8, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway"
  • March 7, 2014: New photos from Robert Brock
  • September 29, 2013: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added new category
  • August 28, 2013: Updated by Robert Elder: Added category "Pin-connected"

Sources 

  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Rob Brock - k0pvw [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Randy Rasa
  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com

Comments 

Southwind Rail Trail - Elm Creek Bridge
Posted May 24, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

So, we are really dealing with three spans. The two spans here which perhaps might have been put together in 1919, and the Osage County Bridge which appears to have been relocated in 1909.

I am wondering if the outer truss on this bridge, and the Osage County Bridge, might have been part of the same Bridge or at least on the same line somewhere.

Perhaps the inner truss on this bridge is original to the site. Again, this is purely speculation.

Southwind Rail Trail - Elm Creek Bridge
Posted May 24, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

According to some recent updates, this bridge was built in 1884. A similar bridge in Osage County, also has been reported as being built in 1884. Notice that these two bridges are nearly identical in appearance save for the fact that the Osage County example is not double-trussed:

http://bridgehunter.com/ks/osage/bh36224/

I suspect that these bridges follow a railroad designed standard plan.

Southwind Rail Trail - Elm Creek Bridge
Posted June 13, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Field visited this bridge June 2016. Mike's comment below is correct, this is indeed a truss fashioned from two truss spans. Evidence: Empty rivet holes on the outer truss lines where portal and sway bracing was connected. The plates linking the pairs of truss lines are riveted indicating this alteration was done long ago (ie before 1970 at least).

Southwind Rail Trail - Elm Creek Bridge
Posted January 5, 2015, by Mike Boehne (mikebon088 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I'd guess that this bridge was made from two spans moved from somewhere else. Neosho River is pretty close by, there's several abandoned railbeds in this area and some of them crossed it. Two spans of this size would about right for one of those bridges.

Southwind Rail Trail - Elm Creek Bridge
Posted March 10, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Yup, that's the one!

Regards,

Art S.

Southwind Rail Trail - Elm Creek Bridge
Posted March 10, 2014, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)
Southwind Rail Trail Elm Creek Bridge
Posted March 7, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Isn't there a similar bridge with Phoenix columns?

Southwind Rail Trail Elm Creek Bridge
Posted August 29, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks for the feedback. Just when I think that I have seen every possible type of truss bridge imaginable, another surprise turns up. I had seen this bridge from old US 169, but concluded that it was just a standard Pratt truss, and quite honestly I had forgotten about it.

Even the small details on this bridge are interesting - including the turnbuckles.

Southwind Rail Trail Elm Creek Bridge
Posted August 29, 2013, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

I found a couple more images.

Near the top of this page is a thumbnail of a photo that shows the lower chord and a bit of a floor beam.

http://vanscyoc.net/blog/categories/4-Our-Biking-Adventures/...

At the bottom of this page is an image of the bridge before the railing was added.

http://www.kansascyclist.com/news/2013/06/southwind-rail-tra...

Looks like a double-web truss.

Southwind Rail Trail Elm Creek Bridge
Posted August 28, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Very unique indeed!

I have seen a covered bridge with the trusses and chords being doubled... http://bridgehunter.com/in/parke/jackson/

But this is the first metal truss I have seen like this.

Southwind Rail Trail Elm Creek Bridge
Posted August 28, 2013, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nope. I haven't seen one like that.

My guess is an engineer needed a higher weight capacity - so he made a double-truss web. It should carry almost twice the weight of a single-truss web.

But that's speculation based on those photos that are really pointed the wrong way!

I'd sure like to see the lower chord, floor beams, and joints!

Southwind Rail Trail Bridge
Posted August 28, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have never seen a bridge like this one. It has many unique details.

First, it appears to be a "bridge within a bridge" It features two top chords connected with struts. Each vertical member, diagonal member, and counter is doubled. The vertical members are rolled beams connected with town lacing.

The bridge also has a massive beam plus four sets of eyebars for the bottom chord on each side.

One might think the bridge is a Whipple truss at first when approaching it because of the inner sets of diagonals appear to cross two vertical members. (This is just an optical illusion as the inner diagonals only look like they are intersecting the outer vertical members at first glance).

Note the interesting portal bracing and sway bracing. Has anybody seen a bridge like this one?

http://vanscyoc.net/blog/archives/1246-Southwind-Rail-Trail....