Rating:
14 votes

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge

Photos 

Photo provided by Jim Lytton

BH Photo #247785

Map 

Street View 

Description 

This bridge is now owned privately, and is located on private property. As a courtesy to the landowner, please do not visit without permission. Landowner information will not be disseminated on this website.

The road, now called SW 90th Street, and bridge are shown on the 1970 county road map. The 1975 map shows no county road along the entire mile of border between sections 16 and 21. Again, the bridge is owned privately now.

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned Pratt through truss bridge over Whitewater River on SW 90th St (Abandoned)
Location
Butler County, Kansas
Status
Abandoned
History
Built in 1886 by P.E. Lane
Builder
- P.E. Lane of Chicago, Illinois
Design
8 panel, pin-connected Pratt through truss
Also called
Whitewater River Bridge
Lilly Lake Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.69354, -96.99680   (decimal degrees)
37°41'37" N, 96°59'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/676614/4173701 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Augusta
Land survey
T. 27 S., R. 4 E., Sec. 21
Elevation
1210 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 48844 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

19th Century (6,227)
Abandoned (3,054)
Beam (12,274)
Built 1886 (171)
Built during 1880s (1,649)
Butler County, Kansas (115)
Have street view (22,578)
Kansas (2,729)
Owned privately (1,309)
P.E. Lane (11)
Pin-connected (3,301)
Pratt through truss (4,624)
Pratt truss (8,069)
Steel stringer (4,841)
TRUSS Award 2013 (14)
Through truss (12,949)
Truss (29,550)
Whitewater River (Kansas) (25)
Wooden deck (5,873)
Wrought Iron (367)

Update Log 

  • May 30, 2017: Updated by Robert Elder: Minor edit - fixed typo.
  • December 19, 2016: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Alternate Name.
  • November 16, 2016: New photos from Robert Elder
  • November 3, 2016: New photos from Robert Elder
  • October 11, 2016: New photo from Robert Elder
  • September 16, 2016: New photos from Robert Elder
  • August 28, 2016: Updated by Robert Elder: Bridge is owned privately.
  • August 17, 2016: New photos from Robert Elder
  • July 25, 2016: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Design description category and added steel stringer to the Approach categories.
  • July 12, 2016: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Category Whitewater River (Kansas)
  • June 27, 2016: New Street View added by Robert Elder
  • February 5, 2013: New photo from Robert Elder
  • January 29, 2013: New photos from Tony Dillon
  • January 29, 2013: Updated by Robert Elder: Added categories "Wrought iron", "Wooden deck", "Pin-connected"
  • January 28, 2013: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added likely builder and date
  • June 3, 2011: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added road per Bing map view.
  • June 3, 2011: Added by Robert Elder

Sources 

  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com

Comments 

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted November 16, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Also, I attempted to photograph a brand on one of the North approach stringers, but it was in a deep shadow. It appeared to read, "Jones & Laughlin (No final S). Thus, I suspect that these approach stringers were a later addition, assuming that the final "S" had not worn off.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted November 16, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

During my visit on November 3rd, 2016, I took nearly 200 RAW images of the bridge. I am in the process of uploading roughly 30 JPEG copies that are representative of the site visit.

Many thanks to the owners for graciously allowing me to visit and upload these images.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted November 3, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Had a great meeting with the owners of the bridge today. We looked at the bridge together and discussed its significance. They have graciously allowed me to upload my photos onto Bridgehunter. I still need to download the RAW images, but I will start with cell phone snapshots.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted October 14, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The link below has a discussion of the Walnut Creek Bridge (Heizer Bridge) in Barton County, KS. It provides a discussion of the P.E. Lane Bridge & Iron Works on page 5. At the time, the Walnut Creek Bridge was the only confirmed P.E. Lane Bridge in Kansas.

http://khri.kansasgis.org/photos_docs/009-0000-00084_5.pdf

More info on the Walnut Creek Bridge (Heizer Bridge) can be viewed here:

http://khri.kansasgis.org/index.cfm?in=009-0000-00084

And here:

http://bridgehunter.com/ks/barton/50651505163/

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted October 2, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yes, Ms. Larsen with the Butler Times Gazetter did an outstanding job with this one. This article really sets a blueprint for news articles that cover historic bridges.

The article conveys the importance of the bridge along with the importance of respecting the wishes of the landowner, which is very important.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted October 1, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Well written article!

I love to see a reporter take the precise information given to them and portray that into a compelling AND interesting story, without mucking it up with errors and misquotes...

Doesn't happen all that often!

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted October 1, 2016, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 23, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Many residents of this region, as well as most of Eastern Kansas, Western Missouri, and northern Oklahoma, will remember the catastrophic Halloween Flood of 1998. This flood devastated the Whitewater River Valley and the City of Augusta. Many other rivers, including the Marais des Cygnes, Walnut, and Cottonwood experience serious flooding, as did the Cowskin Creek in Wichita.

As I mentioned in a previous comment, the fact that this bridge survived that flood is a miracle. It is a wonder that the Whitewater River still maintains a nice collection of historic bridges.

If anybody is interested in a technical discussion of the 1998 Halloween Flood, I am attaching a publication from the University of Wisconsin.

http://www.aos.wisc.edu/uwaosjournal/Volume3/AOS453/FCS_Schi...

As for me, I experienced the event at the Sunflower Showdown at Kansas Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. That was one soggy football game!

Robert

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hi Julie:

I will drink to that. In all seriousness, a conference call may be a great idea.

Robert

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Permitting might not be too bad, with a plan to mitigate disaster. Permission is next. How about a conference call with the owner next? We will be in Arkansas in October, fingers crossed, and maybe we can achieve something with our fundraising efforts here in Michigan. If a beer can save this bridge for the next step, well it should. W'B American Brown Ale.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yes, and it is the permits that concern me the most. I am under no delusions about the legal complexity of propping up a bridge. Permissions and permits are the next stage...

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2016, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

KSHS has desire and no funds. We shored Martin with a steel post and concrete Robert, you can show her that potential fix from photos.

No one will step up if we dont. Hopeful that we can try. I'll send you those photos to send to her. It's not an expensive fix but you can't just go out there yourself, and it requires permission and funding and a contractor.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 16, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I would say keep posting. This helps us all to generate some ideas. I figure that we all want to save the bridge.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 16, 2016, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Robert,

My only point regarding SHPO and other governmental organizations is that people within those organizations may help in guiding you in your communications with KDHE in order to avoid possible missteps and put you in touch with someone within KDHE that has experience and a reasonable perspective on this type of work.

Actually, come to think of it, someone at the county's bridge dept. may be helpful in guiding you through the KDHE paperwork.

Regards,

Art S.

PS. If you are concerned with my posts on this topic being posted in a public forum, just let me know and I'll stop.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 16, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Art:

Good thoughts all around. The SHPO is aware of the bridge, as are county officials.

Robert

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 16, 2016, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Glad you're on it Robert.

You are working on the right things. I hope you have the time and patience to pull it off!

Landowner permission is key (unfortunately). I don't see a way around it. Will she allow you to act toward the bridge's preservation if you don't challenge her ownership? Would you be willing to work on it if it remains private?

KDHE may be tricky. It is possible to get these folks to move quickly but it may require some navigation. See if someone in the state historic preservation office has dealt with any previous historic preservation efforts on the Whitewater River (it can be anything - for example a mill). They may be able to tell you who to reach out to at KDHE. Then, if you can find a loophole in the rules - like the form will not extend below the lowest course of stone (assuming the lowest course is intact, hard to tell in the photos) and the form will not impact the water quality or flow pattern they may be willing to sign off quickly. Additionally, push on the fact that if the bridge collapses, it will have a much greater negative impact than the proposed repair and necessitate removal which will also be more invasive to the water course.

I doubt you can get funding in time. You will likely need to do this with 'sweat equity' alone. Talk to local supply houses and concrete contractors, you may be able to build the form with stuff the supply house is willing to write off. A concrete contractor may occasionally have an extra couple of yards from a job on a truck - if you can be flexible with your timing and work around the contractor's schedule, and if there is access, have him dump the excess in your form.

None of these suggestions will generate a 'nice job' nor meet any engineering standards. However, they just may give you the time you need to do it right.

Based on my experience with Maple Rapids Road and the rigging of Carlton (via Nels), the three legged bridge isn't really an option, the 'or worse' is.

Good luck!

Art S.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 16, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hi Art:

Thanks as always for your feedback. I have spoken to a few individuals who want to save the bridge. I strongly believe that building a form and pouring concrete is a great idea. I am looking at this as a potential short term solution. At this point, we need three things to happen.

1. Landowner permission.

2. Any KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment) permits that would be needed.

3. Funding or donations of material.

I have talked with the landowner about 1 and 3. She and I discussed the implications of a NRHP listing in regards to funding. I have also explained that nobody wins if the bridge collapses.

With another flood, we could be dealing with a three - legged bridge...or worse...

Robert

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 16, 2016, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Robert,

If you are willing to be directly involved, try to convince the landowner to allow a stabilization effort to be done. Build and strap on a form around the base of the pier and pour concrete around it. It will look terrible, be a pain to remove and may not be a good long term solution but it should buy the bridge time.

Considering no one besides you seems to be stepping up to restore the bridge while its standing, if it falls in, its a death sentence, even if there is only minor damage.

With stabilization, I believe time is the bridge's friend as the preservation movement seems to be gaining steam.

Regards,

Art S.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 16, 2016, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Robert,

Unless someone shores it up very soon it will be gone. As they say, a stitch in time saves nine. This reminds me of the Maple Rapids Road Bridge. We were a few weeks too late...

Regards,

Art S.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted September 16, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I just added new photos showing the aftermath of yet another flood on the Whitewater River. The pylon continues to crumble.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted August 17, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have just uploaded two new photographs. One shows the current condition of the pylon. The other shows the plaque which lists the builder and the date.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 25, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

There is good news and bad news.

The good news is that this bridge survived the flood earlier this month. The bad news is that the pylon suffered further damage. A couple more stones have been knocked loose. I am in contact with locals. We want to save this one.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 13, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Just to put things in perspective, here is what the Whitewater and Walnut Rivers did in the catastrophic 1998 Halloween Flood. I am amazed that this bridge survived that event.

http://www.weather.gov/ict/halloweenflood

https://fedoradude.smugmug.com/Journalism/1998-Augusta-Kansa...

The flood last week crested about 10 feet lower at Augusta. Let us hope that we do not see a repeat of the Halloween Flood anytime soon. That would be scary.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 13, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I read the article this morning. I am glad to see this beauty is getting some good publicity.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 13, 2016, by Jason Smith (flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com)
Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 11, 2016, by Jason Smith (flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com)

I'm going to put in an article about this bridge in hopes action is taken to save it. Even if it means dismantling it and putting it into storage to be reused for another bike trail, etc., that would count more than everything.....

I hope the gentleman does not mind me using a couple of his pics for this purpose (his name will be credited).

JS

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 11, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am afraid that if one stone goes, the bridge goes. The river is trying to cut towards the other pylon, which will hopefully buy us some time. If we can save this one, it will be an 11th hour save.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 11, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Holding my breath... Not sure how much longer this beauty can stand! :-(

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted July 11, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The County is recovering from yet another flood on the Whitewater River. Thankfully, the river crested about 1 foot short of predictions. Recent floods have gotten even higher, but none have surpassed the 1998 Halloween Flood.

http://www.butlercountytimesgazette.com/news/20160707/heavy-...

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hi Art:

Thanks for your detailed post. This gives all of us a lot of good information. The area has been growing rapidly in population lately. That often means more parks, more hiking trails, etc. Plus, many locals take pride in Butler County's collection of historic bridges. Thus, I suspect that finding a home would be the easy part.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2016, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

I love it when my name disappears when I post... :^)

The post below is mine.

Regards,

Art S.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2016, by Anonymous

Paying someone to move it off the stream 'correctly' will cost $75K - $150K depending on the complications.

If that's not an option, and you can resolve ownership issues and there is no way of quickly getting grants and the area isn't 'environmentally sensitive' you should be able to rig the bridge, drive some heavy equipment into/onto the creek bed and pick it up from below then carefully haul it out.

With the decking intact, the bridge is probably around 50 tons. Two mid size pieces of equipment with very talented operators, a knowledgeable rigger/bridge expert and someone who can get you through the paperwork and you can have the bridge off the crossing and secure.

Alternately, have Nels or equivalent do it old school: Set up falsework and take it apart just like it was put together!

It may be cheaper to shore up the pier. Create a form and pour lots of concrete. At least it may buy you time.

In my opinion, whatever path you take, jumping through the paperwork hoops quickly and correctly is the key.

Regards,

Art S.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Even if they could just get it off of those piers and set it on dry land for a bit! A couple of National Guard helicopters could make quick work of it...would just need some bracing to support it underneath. They have done it in Iowa!

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Wish I were a Millionaire... I would bankroll projects like this one! There is a nice big lake with a park in Augusta that I bet this ole' girl would look nice setting across an arm of said lake.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Now...how do we get started? I have never taken on a project like this one...

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'm afraid that you are spot on Robert... Any flooding of the river might just do it in! This is a beautiful span that deserves better than a watery grave!

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have just added a Google Streetview to show that the road leading to the bridge is in fact private and gated. This rare and significant bridge remains in danger of immediate collapse due to a failing pylon. I am afraid that it may not have much time left.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted August 20, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The recent flood waters in the area have subsided now. It sounds like the flooding was worse in the Little Arkansas and the section of the Arkansas River drainage west of the Flint Hills than in the Whitewater and Walnut River drainage. (The Whitewater River joins the Walnut River, which in turn joins the Arkansas immediately north of the Oklahoma state line).

Hopefully this one held, but flooding on the Whitewater River is a regular occurrence, so it is only a matter of time before this one collapses into the river.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted August 8, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This area has had some high water with more rain on the way. Hopefully this one can keep standing until someone can stabilize it.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted February 8, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Good to hear Robert...As I was really surprised the bridge has survived if the water had actually gotten that high!

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted February 8, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Just heard from Mr. Lytton. Apparently the limbs on top of the truss came from a falling tree, not from floodwater. This river still floods a lot, however. I just has not gotten over the truss.

Trees are also a hazard to trusses.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted February 5, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I just uploaded some new photographs from Mr. Lytton. There is driftwood on top of the truss.

The Whitewater River normally looks very placid, but it can become a raging torrent without warning. This river is notorious for flooding. Following a major rainfall, it becomes dangerous and unpredictable.

Well, actually it is predictable - it floods!

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted January 30, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Also, Butler County appears to be in the process of replacing a bridge over the Whitewater River near Augusta, but it is not this one. Don't worry if you happen to find this via a Google search. The bridge being replaced is a non-historic structure on nearby Thunder Road.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted January 30, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Julie:

Unfortunately I do not know of any stonemasons in the area. Glad that KSHS seems to be interested in investigating this bridge. I just wish I could be there as well.

One important factor is the fact that Butler County has a very good track record for historic bridge preservation. Like any other jurisdiction, they have demolished the occasional bridge, but overall, they have done an excellent job of balancing the needs of transportation with preservation.

As an example, the Gordon Bridge was replaced, but allowed to remain standing next to its replacement. http://bridgehunter.com/ks/butler/gordon/

I strongly suspect that there would be interest in preserving this bridge if local residents and officials were made aware of its existence.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted January 29, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

There are no emergency funds, but KSHS can move to investigate or add it to their database. They would look into it, was also the response I got Robert.

Need a mason it appears....at low water.

HOW DOES ONE FIGURE IT OUT.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted January 29, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

KSHS has just added this structure to their Historic Bridge database. The listing can be viewed here:

http://khri.kansasgis.org/index.cfm?in=015-786

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted January 29, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Too bad the TRUSS Award nomination deadline has passed...

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted January 29, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Anthony:

I have notified Julie Bowers about this bridge. I also sent a message to one of my contacts at KSHS. This one has got to be saved. As I told Julie, it ranks right up there with the Long Shoals Bridge in terms of significance. We are down to six extant P.E. Lane listings on Bridgehunter.

Two of those six are in Kansas. The other bridge, which has similar but smaller portal bracing, is on the NRHP. You can see it here:

http://bridgehunter.com/ks/barton/50651505163/

As a side note, I find it interesting that this bridge has very short and very lightweight stringer approaches. I would think that pony trusses would have made better approach spans.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted January 29, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'm afraid that unless something drastic is done soon to reinforce that failing pier...this bridge will soon be in the "Lost" category.

Would hate to see that happen!

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted January 29, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Well, I guess I was wrong in my speculation about the builder. I never guessed P.E. Lane.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted May 1, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Google Earth has just updated their imagery again. I can now positively say that this bridge has angled lattice portal bracing, but it is unlike the angled lattice portal bracing on the two Kansas City Bridge and Iron Co. bridges in this same county.

Effectively, this eliminates (almost certainly) the Columbia Bridge Works as a fabricator, but now I am thinking that the King Iron Bridge Co. may be responsible even though Butler Co. also has 1, and possibly 2 examples of WIBC bridges.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted February 9, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Butler County has some good GIS imagery of this vicinity. It appears that this bridge may have angled lattice portal bracing, but it is still hard to tell for certain. Having no futher information on this bridge, I am still suspecting either Kansas City Bridge and Iron Co. or Wrought Iron Bridge Co. may be the builder. Both firms used angled lattice portal bracing.

I can just about guarantee that it is pre-1900 and wrought iron regardless of fabricator. You can access the maps here:

http://maps.bucoks.com/foo/Website/Maps/encrypt.htm

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 30, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yes, that should be possible. My only problem is that I no longer live in the area.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 30, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Butler Co has a GIS which allows locating the name of the owner of the property upon which this bridge sits. The county does not maintain a road although they may still hold an easement which will not show in the tax rolls. County road dept might be able to answer questions.

The name and contact info for the owner is accessible so it should be possible to seek permission for a visit.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 30, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

It has been a while since I studied imagery of this bridge. The latest imagery was created on the same day, in roughly the same light as the imagery for this nearby WIBC span: http://bridgehunter.com/ks/butler/80855306461/

There is still no way to know without a field check as to who built this bridge, but the comparison indicates to me that the materials in this bridge are at least as lightweight as those on the WIBC bridge.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 5, 2011, by Spanfan (susorcar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

One other thing-the Butler County webpage has a number of document sites you can access, including Deeds & Real Estate. I didn't go in, but someone might be able to find out who owns the property the bridge is on.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 5, 2011, by Spanfan (susorcar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Just a minor P.S.-looking at Google Earth again, I see a large pile of debris or brush on the top end of the bridge, apparently on the deck. I also don't see any cross-bracing across the top panels.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 4, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nathan:

Good thought about the county wanting to have as many miles of roads as possible. Perhaps they might not be too quick to abandon the bridge officially.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 4, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I can't tell any more than Tony from the satellite image. However, you should contact the county and find out if the road really is private. Sometimes counties hold on to right-of-way for roads even if abandoned because they get to claim them in declarations of total county miles of road for funding purposes.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 4, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

It is certainly possible that a landowner could be using the bridge for light vehicles ie ATVs, etc. As the bridge is surrounded by private property, owner usage would probably be a good thing because that would indicate that the bridge is at least receiving maintenance and hopefully protection from trees. As noted by Anthony, the deck appears to be in reasonable condition.

I have tried doing some online research to find information on this bridge, but so far nothing. This one might take a personal visit or a trip to the Butler County Courthouse in El Dorado.

The bad news is the bridge appears to be inaccessible without permission. The good news is Butler County has a good track record from bridge preservation and there is substantial interest in historic bridges in this region. After I have done as much research as I can do from Texas, I will e-mail some contacts in Kansas.

Anthony, Nathan, Michael et al. if you have any ideas or can decipher anything from the truss or the shadows, I would be interested in any suspicions you may have.

I am trying to look for a portal amid the trees at the south end.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 3, 2011, by Spanfan (susorcar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I looked on Google Earth using the historical imagery slider (the "clock thing"). As of Oct. 1991, the bridge seemed to be a leg connecting 90th Ave on either side of the river, & looked to still be in use. There are 3 shiny/white objects in the middle of the open area just north of the bridge that could be grain bins. Could be a farmer's wagon bridge? I'm just guessing here...

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 3, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

That would be phenomenal if we had another CBW. That would make-up for the one that we let collapse last year. The though of a CBW did cross my mind as I tried to decipher the shadows. It looks like this bridge has very narrow panels as well, which further piques my interest.

Butler County seemed to favor the Kansas City Bridge & Iron Co. as well as the Wrought Iron Bridge Co. so these are two other possibilities.

Unfortunately, SW 90th road is barricaded from Dike Road, so it may be private now. This bridge definitely needs to be investigated. Now if only I can get permission, and catch this road at a time when Chelsea would not get stuck in the mud.

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 3, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Great find Robert!

You are right, this is definitely a Pratt through....and does appear to have rather light members.

I looked at the Bing Bird's eye view.....which unfortunately didn't yield a better look. However, the Bing map does show SW 90th Road crossing at this location.

It appears to me that the span either has a concrete deck, or if it is wood then it has not been closed long enough to deteriorate.

Who knows........maybe Columbia Bridge Works built more than 1 bridge in Kansas!

Augusta Vicinity Whitewater River Bridge
Posted June 3, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I found this bridge thanks to Google Earth. It looks like a Pratt through truss constructed of lightweight materials (perhaps wrought iron). I can not find any listing for the bridge on Bridgehunter, NBI, or the KSHS Database. What do you think? The shadow sure indicates a truss bridge.