6 votes

Walnut River Bridge


Photo taken by Robert Elder


BH Photo #110296

Street View 


Often erroneously referred to the Old Mulvane Bridge. This bridge has never been near Mulvane.


Through truss bridge over Walnut River, 0.7 mi. west and 2.0 mi. south of Douglass
Butler County, Kansas
Open to traffic with 6'6" height restriction.
Built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co.
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
8-panel, pinned Pratt through truss
4-panel, pinned Pratt pony
Length of largest span: 147.9 ft.
Total length: 220.1 ft.
Deck width: 14.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.1 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Old Bridge from Mulvane
Walnut River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.48903, -97.01997   (decimal degrees)
37°29'21" N, 97°01'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/675049/4150965 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
KS 000080855306461 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 17511 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of December 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 18.6 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


8-panel truss (548)
Beam (16,944)
Butler County, Kansas (119)
Have street view (29,148)
Kansas (3,271)
NR-eligible (4,117)
One-lane traffic (7,918)
Open (41,012)
Owned by county (21,656)
Pin-connected (4,862)
Pony truss (17,077)
Pratt pony truss (3,984)
Pratt through truss (6,127)
Pratt truss (10,402)
Savable (35)
Span length 125-175 feet (4,454)
Through truss (17,174)
Total length 175-250 feet (4,519)
Truss (35,919)
Wooden deck (6,173)
Wrought Iron (421)
Wrought Iron Bridge Co. (446)

Update Log 

  • March 14, 2021: New video from Nick Schmiedeler
  • September 14, 2018: Updated by Bryon: Pics show 66 height restriction and not 64 as previously stated here
  • August 29, 2018: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • February 3, 2017: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • May 24, 2014: New photos from Robert Brock
  • March 17, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Adjusted GPS Coordinates
  • March 8, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Street View link.
  • February 7, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Status Description.
  • June 9, 2009: Updated by Robert Elder: Updated Categories
  • July 7, 2008: Updated by Robert Elder: Updated categories and design description
  • February 28, 2008: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited "History"
  • February 27, 2008: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited "Design"


  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Rob Brock - k0pvw [dot] mobile [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com


Walnut River Bridge
Posted February 4, 2022, by George Oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Just watched the video and it looks like somebody bent the headache bar.Probably trying to skirt the height restriction.

Walnut River Bridge
Posted March 14, 2021, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Also have posted a YouTube clip of 2016 flood-year visit, neat old thing, still open to traffic last visited few months back


Mulvane Bridge video
Posted March 11, 2020, by John Gregg (Johngregg88 [at] outlook [dot] com)

Such a science area. Here's a video of it.


Walnut River Bridge
Posted July 11, 2010, by Robert (gin-rob [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

There was once another bridge just like this one to the North side of Douglass. Google Earth still shows what appears to be an upright stone pillar. This is located at N37 31.961 W097 01.111. My Curiosity has gotten the best of me now and as soon as the river goes back down I thing we will try to float it to see if its still there.

Walnut River Bridge
Posted August 20, 2008, by Eric J. Burris (jeburris [at] birch [dot] net)

I visited this bridge today thinking that it was closed, but it was open to traffic. The quickest way to visit it is to take Hwy 77 south of Douglass to 230th street. Go west about three quarters of a mile, and then when the road tees, go south. The road will wind around, and then there is the bridge. The route I just listed is TREACHEROUS! Just faster to get there than the way I went. Take a truck! the roads on either side of the bridge aren't closed, per se: just low maintenance.

Walnut River Bridge
Posted August 7, 2007, by Robert L. Elder (Bass-tbn [at] ku [dot] edu)

So, does anybody know any plans for the future of this bridge? This structure is very similar to the Pott's Ford Bridge in Cloud County, KS (1884) and the Spencer's Crossing Bridge in Anderson County, KS (1885), both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. As this bridge appears to be constructed of wrought iron instead of steel (more popular after about the mid 1890s), it should certainly be a candidate for the NRHP as well.

Walnut River Bridge
Posted August 7, 2007, by Elaine Neer Little (Elalittle [at] aol [dot] com)

I rode over the bridge from 1944 to the closing. The bridge talked to us as we drove slowly over the flexible boards. The road to the bridge curved like an S on the south entrance with an elevation entering the bridge...in winter, you hoped it would not be slick due to ice and snow. The Walnut River was usually slow most of the time, a haven for wild life, people fishing and just enjoying the view. The Walnut River at flood stage was a challenge to the bridge. I always hoped the floating trees hitting the bridge supports would not take the bridge out. The sights and sounds of the bridge are still within me and I was saddened when the township and county closed the road. I understood and softly said, "thank you" for my rides across. They were near perfect for a country girl.

Walnut River Bridge
Posted May 31, 2007, by Robert L. Elder (Bass-tbn [at] ku [dot] edu)

The bridge as viewed from the south. The large overhead structure in the foreground was installed to prevent large vehicles from crossing the bridge. Unfortunately, there was no way to avoid getting in the picture.

The bridge consists of one 8 panel pin connected Pratt through truss, and one 4 panel pin connected Pratt pony truss. Photo taken in February of 2005.

Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.

Walnut River Bridge
Posted May 13, 2007, by Robert L. Elder (Bass-tbn [at] ku [dot] edu)

This bridge, south of Douglass, Kansas was built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio. The main span is an eight panel, pin connected Pratt through truss. Note the decorative portal decorations, railings, and the two plaques.

Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.