5 votes

Whitewater River Bridge


Whitewater Potwin 1

Lovely county lane from the west but can get very muddy. Best road from the east side. West on NW160th off of Diamond road.

Photo taken by Mike LeMasters

BH Photo #148822


Street View 


Pony truss bridge over Whitewater River on a local road, 0.9 mi. west and 2.0 mi. south of Potwin
Butler County, Kansas
Probably built ca. 1885 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company (likely fabricator).
Main span: Pin-connected Pratt pony truss
Approach: Pin-connected half-hip Pratt pony truss
Length of largest span: 68.9 ft.
Total length: 136.2 ft.
Deck width: 11.8 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.91222, -97.04080   (decimal degrees)
37°54'44" N, 97°02'27" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/672226/4197885 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
KS 000080853105880 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 40901 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 11, 2018: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • September 21, 2016: Updated by Robert Elder: Removed category "Wrought Iron Bridge Co." - although they are the likely fabricator.
  • July 12, 2016: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Category "Whitewater River (Kansas")
  • November 1, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added location
  • November 29, 2009: Updated by Robert Elder: Updated Status and Status Description.


  • Mike LeMasters
  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com


Whitewater River Bridge
Posted April 11, 2018, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is quite interesting. A group of people have put a special walkway over the bridge. This is an especially interesting development given the remote location of the bridge.

You can't say that Kansans don't love their truss bridges. Now, hopefully the Whitewater River will behave itself and not take out that pylon.

Whitewater River Bridge
Posted April 11, 2018, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Visited this past weekend, new walkway has been put down for hikers and bicyclists I'm assuming, stone pillars still in the same precarious standing, overall entire bridge seems very sketchy but very happy to see it still relatively in one piece, great piece of KS history, a low-water crossing, albeit extremely steep and rather dangerous looking, sits on the side

Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 30, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yes, the Whitewater River drains the western slope of the Flint Hills. Normally, it is a beautiful placid stream, but then after a prolonged heavy rain, it becomes a raging torrent and floods its valley. Then, a couple days later, it will be back to its normal pleasant self again.

Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 30, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I would agree Robert!

Geeze, what's with the abutment issues in this county! The Whitewater must be a crazy river at times!!

Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 30, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The larger span appears to have the endpost nut connections that seem indicative of a Wrought Iron Bridge Co. span. I would not be surprised if they were the fabricator.

In addition, this bridge also provides a good example of both a full-slope and half-hip Pratt pony truss. Now hopefully that pylon in the middle of the Whitewater River can hold out...

Whitewater River Bridge
Posted February 17, 2015, by Bryan (bryandford [at] gmail [dot] com)

My bicycle riding buddy and I stumbled upon this bridge last Friday. I shimmyed across it with bike lugged over my shoulder. He opted to take the cold, stagnant river water route. 60th road from both directions will take you to the Bridge Closed baricade. Awesome area.

Whitewater River Bridge
Posted November 29, 2009, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Glad to see that this bridge is still standing. Wrought Iron Bridge Co. perhaps?