The news keeps getting better! I appreciate the references to the (at least) five other historic bridges in Fort Scott.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 21, 2012
GRINNELL, IOWA – Over a year later, Workin’ Bridges is pleased to announce that the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, a part of the National Park Service, has given permission to the Fort Scott Bourbon County Riverfront Authority (FSBCRA) to move the historic Long Shoals Bridge. The 1902 Parker steel truss bridge, built by the Midland Bridge Company will serve as the distinctive crossing for the new riverfront park and trail system currently under development with funding from Kansas Department of Transportation. Kyle Anderson of Fellsburg Holt & Ullevig, an engineering firm from Omaha, NE is managing the engineering for the park which includes the approaches and abutments for the bridge reset over the Marmaton River in downtown Fort Scott.
Nels Raynor of BACH Steel, an historic truss bridge restoration expert examined the bridge with Workin’ Bridges in April of 2011 and noted that the top chord was in great condition, no holes or section loss apparent. Although some beams were missing and there was significant pack rust on the portals, overall, the bridge is well worth saving. “The portals need some work”, Raynor said, “but they are so massive and decorative, that’s the part people will remember.”
Workin’ Bridges compiled an assessment for the Long Shoals Bridge, which included an estimate for the bridge lift and
dis-assembly for the move to Fort Scott, and for the restoration and reset over the Marmaton River in Riverfront Park for use as a pedestrian bridge. Workin’ Bridges was also asked to assess the Military Bridge, a three span King Iron Bridge Co., bowstring iron truss built in the early 1880’s. The bridge was closed in 1969 and in 1974 the planks burned off. This bridge will be planked for use on the trail that loops 2.5 miles out of Fort Scott and can be utilized by pedestrians and equestrians. Fort Scott also has two historic concrete arch bridges in their downtown area and a newly rediscovered truss bridge that has been hiding in plain site near the proposed trail system. "We are pleased the National Park Service (or the Keeper since the title seems to be attracting unusual attention in this instance) has approved the relocation request for the Long Shoals Bridge, and we look forward to working with the FSBCRA and Workin' Bridges during the relocation process." Patrick Zollner - Deputy Director, Kansas State Historical Society (KSHS).
The commissioners and visionaries for Riverfront Park are pleased the project is moving along. FSBCRA hired Julie Bowers, Executive Director of NSRGA and Workin’ Bridges to attend a grant workshop at the Kansas State Historic Society, August 7, 2012. “The Heritage Trust Fund grant was written for 2011 funding, but the bridge had not been given permission to move from KSHS or the Keeper. There were still questions about the exact process for the dis-assembly and storage, and where the bridge would be reset. Without the permission the grant could not be given a green light. We are resubmitting the grant this year this workshop will make sure that we have any new information covered correctly.
KSHS offers these grant writing workshops so that any questions can be addressed early in the process. KSHS also suggests submitting the grant six weeks early so that they can give it a preliminary look, again with the attitude of saving time in the final process. All questions have been addressed and answered. It has not been a punitive process.
"We have seen what happens when this permission isn't granted," stated Bowers. "We will still be able to restore our bowstring in Iowa but it won't be with the help of SHPO grants. We are exploring transportation enhancement grants and a plan to expand the trail system at Millgrove which will obviously need a crossing that can be provided by the bowstring."
Workin’ Bridges is a part of The N. Skunk River Greenbelt Association (NSRGA), a non-profit dedicated to historic truss bridges and greenbelt restoration, and the goal of restoring the McIntyre Bridge in Poweshiek County Iowa. A documentary on Historic Truss Bridge Restoration has been completed and is available. Donations are accepted for bridge repair and may be mailed to NSRGA, PO Box 332, Grinnell, IA 50112 or www.skunkriverbridge.org.
And we helped. Headed to Kansas for a grant seminar in Topeka on Tuesday.
Julie: This is great news indeed.
Mr. Anderson: All the information that we bridgehunters have about this bridge is on the website. For more technical information, I would suggest contacting either KDOT or the Kansas State Historical Society.
We do our best to provide information and photographs, but bridgehunter.com is not officially affiliated with any state agency so we don't typically have direct access to their databases. If you have any further questions, please let us know.
Here is the KSHS webpage for this bridge:
The Long Shoals Bridge has been given permission to move to Fort Scott by the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. What started as a TRUSS award for 2010 is now on the way to being saved. Engineering the the park roads includes the new piers and approached.
Hurrah for BridgeHunter Nation and the work of our team at Workin' Bridges.
this project is moving into engineering,,,, that is awesome news. Sent the engineers a lot of great info from the W'Bridges team that should move things forward even more quickly than starting from scratch.
Our firm (Felsburg Holt & Ullevig) is working with the City of Fort Scott and the Riverfront Park Authority to relocate this bridge for a pedestrian crossing over the Marmaton River. We are trying to get as much information about the bridge from KDOT as we can. Any additional information you could provide would be appreciated.
I will be waiting at the edge of my seat...
Not official...but the word is... good news is coming next week.
The Long Shoals Bridge was approved for move by the KSHS. The request has now moved to Washington, DC for approval by the Keeper. It will then be eligible for grant funding for the restoration. I was told that the piers and approaches are being engineers as part of the park loop road in Fort Scott, so those expenses have already found funding.
This is good news in a week with very little other good news. More will be revealed.
Hopefully the keeper will be receptive to the idea of moving the bridge. As far as I am concerned this is the only hope for preserving this unique bridge. Its current location is remote enough that you have to be a die-hard truss bridge fan to want to go see it.
Not to be redundant and repetitive, but here is what happens when we abandon bridges:
Yes, I have posted that link ad nauseum, but it bears repeating. Truss bridges left abandoned will eventually collapse under their own weight.
KSHS will discuss the move of the Long Shoals Bridge on May 12 at their NRHP meeting. If approved the request will go to the Keeper. Still hope for the old girl.
There may be hope yet. I have put in a potential relocation spot in Fort Scott so that I could get the coordinates and started a bridge page for that, so I'm not trying to confuse you all. I also answered some questions on the disassembly and move to storage and what I think the new abuttments will probably be.
Yes, Julie, I would like to meet you sometime as well.
As for this bridge, my prediction is either it gets moved,repaired, or it collapses under its own weight. Not too many other possibilities exist.
Sorry, we were talking about the Piano Bridge on the Long Shoals Page because the Long Shoals Bridge did not receive an endangered grant because we couldn't tell them within 100 yards where the bridge was going to be moved to keep it on the historic register, and hence eligible for grant writing. I don't know what will happen to the Long Shoals Bridge at this point.
Send some pictures, please.
here for another week or so. decking finished and hub guard and guard rails go in now, then the road finishing. they may have an opening celebration at some point but don't know when.
Would sure love to meet you.
When do you plan on being over there? My next couple weekends are pretty stacked.
They indicated their might be another transportation enhancement funding round but I just don't know. Fort Scott got money for their park they just couldn't get the engineering done to tell KSHS where the bridge would go exactly and what kind of piers would be used, which was needed to get the request for permission to move granted.
Think good thoughts. Any chance you are headed over to see us at the Piano Bridge, that one is nearly done.
I understand that this bridge did not receive a preservation grant. Is there any hope of moving it now? Are private funds available?
KSHS & NPS have agreed that the Historic Property can be moved to Fort Scott. The first grant for engineering rehabilitation plan is being sent to NTHP for June 1, although there are little funds, and things are progressing in Bourbon County.
Who else wants to play with Workin' Bridges We are increasing our scope to find more engineers and iron/steel workers with experience working with historic metals, or those that want to learn.
Give me a call anytime.
Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.
This is wonderful news! I am very encouraged to see your organization, KSHS and Bourbon Co. working together to preserve these bridges.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the Fort Scott area, in addition to the three bridges that will be preserved, the riverfront area also has two Marsh arches which are open to traffic
and one Pratt truss (probably wrought iron), which will collapse soon if it is not repaired (and hopefully incorporated into the trail some day).
Again, excellent work! My only regret is that I am no longer in Kansas where I would be happy to volunteer with this great project.
The package to give the Riverfront Authority and Bourbon County numbers on how to utilize there historic bridges have gone back to the county. Three historic bridges have real chances to be saved. Any help given financially to there goals of a great riverfront that utilizes historic bridges prominently needs our support, as bridge lovers.
With the nationally significant Long Shoals and Marmaton Bowstring Bridges, plus several other truss and a nice collection of Marsh arches......Bourbon County has a wealth of historic spans that could help promote tourism in the area.
The meetings went well. The commissioners would like to see the bridge move before it becomes a liability for them. We are proceeding.
Now where does this bridge community come in. You want a bridge saved, it takes money, even to just pull this one off the river is around 50-60 grand, but a television show of fixing old trusses.
And then on to the abandoned Military Bridge. I do love the King Bowstrings so if we can roll this one into the package Ft. Scott will have an incredible riverfront area.
Who wants to play with Workin' Bridges?
I hope this meeting is productive. I don't know how well a Historic Bridge park/trail would do financially, but there is certainly no shortage of truss bridges in the county.
Meeting with the commissioners of Bourbon County today to discuss there historic truss bridges and what options they have to work with them. One option is us "workin' bridges". we can turn an historic bridge project that is mind boggling and big, into a doable construction project that does not break the bank's budget.
Wish us luck. I think they could have an entire bridge trail in this county. I crossed one last night from Missouri that took the road down to one lane. It was great.
This sounds like an interesting idea. The county website should have the contacts for officials such as commissioners, etc. This bridge would be subject to NRHP restrictions, but moving the bridge to an incorporated area would be a good idea. Abandoned bridges generally do not fare well and will eventually collapse if not maintained.
We have just started a construction/iron working collaboration to restore old historic bridges. We would like to work with this bridge. We have a non-profit that could buy the bridge and then we can refurbish it and sell it back to that county or find a re-use.
We are "WORKING BRIDGES" and you can contact us at 641.260.1262 if you would like to nominate another abandoned historic bridge for our list or know a group that needs help with maintenance or rehabilitation.
This bridge is beautiful and should live for a long while yet.
Cliff has raised an interesting question.
Because the bridge is so close to the new bridge, it is amost certainly public property. It is possible that the county never officially abandoned the old alignment.
If the trees were to be removed, there is probably a county department that could either accomplish this or perhaps grant an approval to a private company, etc. Because this bridge is on the NRHP it would likely be elegible for public funding for maintenance or better yet, restoration.
I am not an expert with Section 106 law, nor do I play one on television, but historical societies, both public and private should be able to provide some guidance here.
Is it on private property? Couldn't someone just go out there and remove the trees that are endangering this awesome bridge?
In reference to photograph no. 7, these trees and their roots are certainly an imminent threat to this bridge. While we can not save every bridge, the loss of this particular example through neglect would be significant.
Parker trusses with vertical endposts have become quite rare. Despite a construction date of 1902, this structure has the appearance of an 1880s bridge.
The vines, which are Poison Ivy, turn bright red in the fall creating another photo op. I have a photo of the plaque which I will try to find and upload at some point.
What a Gem this is. Although you always like to see them restored, the vines growing through the portals give it an ancient-almost mythical look. Wrought Iron Bridge Co. built some that look like this one.