5 votes

Gould Creek Bridge


Street View 


Lost concrete T-beam bridge over Gould Creek on US 50
Chase County, Kansas
Built 1933, Reconstructed 1958, Replaced 1996
Length of largest span: 29.9 ft.
Total length: 98.1 ft.
Deck width: 27.9 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.33167, -96.69333   (decimal degrees)
38°19'54" N, 96°41'36" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/701616/4245133 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
KDOT 0009-B0009 (Kansas Dept. of Transportation bridge number)
BH 47365 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 02/1991)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 22.6 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 1990)

Update Log 

  • July 19, 2013: New Street View added by Sheldon Wiens
  • December 22, 2010: Updated by Matthew Lohry: Imported NBI for old bridge to replace NBI for new bridge
  • December 22, 2010: Added by Sheldon Wiens


  • Sheldon Wiens
  • Matt Lohry


Gould Creek Bridge
Posted May 10, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Insects are only a problem with wooden substructures. They are a serious problem on the west coast. If you are seeing loose rocks and rubble on the slope under an abutment that is not a structural part of the bridge, it is for scour control. Sometimes there will be a concrete retaining wall under the rocks sometimes not.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted May 10, 2011, by Robert Thompson

I wouldn't worry about insects damaging the bridge abutments. They only eat organic matter, not concrete or rock.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted May 9, 2011, by Matt Lohry

Clark, I looked at the rail bridge you referenced, which brings up a third type of abutment design--this is essentially the same as the sloped abutment, but concrete fills in the entire void that would normally be under a freeway bridge to support heavy rail weight.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted May 9, 2011, by Matt Lohry

Sheldon/Clark, good point about the infiltration of weeds. I'm pretty sure that what gets used depends on what's running underneath--rocks are cheaper and easier to place, so they get used where rivers pass under, but they pose a hazard to roadways or rails (could roll out and hit someone). Additionally, they can take running and/or freezing and thawing water better than concrete can, so hence the river applications. As far as sloped abutments go, I think that this is due mainly to the advancement of technology. Back 20-30 years ago, retaining wall design was not advanced enough to enable a vertical wall to hold and stabilize earth (especially with heavy live loads to support), so the slopes were installed to maintain that stability. Now, they are built much stronger and can easily support any soil in any condition. This benefits those who finance the building of bridges, as they can be built shorter because there is no long slope to overcome.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted May 9, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

A good distinction Matt. The abutments are the vertical part that carries the weight of the ends of the bridge to the soil or rock below. Most freeway abutments from this time period piled soil up against the abutment to balance part of the weight of the soil on the back side. Since this soil was sloped, erosion protection was needed. Sometime they used concrete paving and other times just rock. Well maintained concrete prevents weeds from growing under the bridge and takes no mowing. Rocks will eventually get stuff growing and will be more difficult to care for. Some designs even do without the sloped soil and just put up a straight wall. See:




Gould Creek Bridge
Posted May 8, 2011, by Matt Lohry

A small correction, Sheldon--all bridges are built with abutments; they are what the bridge superstructure rests on and are almost always made of concrete on modern structures. The rocks you refer to, commonly called "rip-rap", are in place mainly for erosion control. Hope this helps!

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted May 8, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Okay, I see what you mean - "abutments." I've never heard that word before. But now I will remember what the concrete walls of a bridge are really called. Now in times they don't make them anymore. Now they build bridges with rock slopes underneath.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted May 7, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Sheldon, you might mean "abutments", the places where the ends of the bridge rest and the sloped concrete walls that are used to protect the soil from erosion.

These are concreted in a way that was common in the '50s, so they could go along with the rehab date and the age of the other bridge.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted April 23, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Mr. Erickson:

I read that book too as a kid. Great read!

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted April 22, 2011, by K. A. Erickson

Sheldon, I recall a passage from a book I read for class in grade school, The Phantom Tollbooth. In it Milo is asked by the guards his reason to enter the city of Dictionopolis. Everyone has to have a reason to enter the city. Milo cannot come up with one so a guard rummages through a trunk in his post and comes up with a medallion that reads "Why not?" Yes, the guard says, that will do even if it is a bit overused.

Thus a reason to tear down a perfectly good bridge or one that could be preserved with grant money or over the objections of locals, "Why not?" And yes that is a reason that is overused.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted January 18, 2011, by Matthew Lohry

Definitely not a concrete culvert--this is either a steel stringer or a deck plate girder bridge.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted January 18, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Wow, that bridge does look historic. Looks like a concrete culvert.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted January 14, 2011, by Robert Thompson

Sheldon, take a look at the Streetview for this bridge. A short distance away from this concrete eyesore is a railroad bridge that, while not particularly notable, almost CERTAINLY historic.

Instead of concentrating on modern concrete structures that are completely unremarkable and will never achieve "historic" status, perhaps you can research old railroad bridges using Streetview and Google Earth. That would allow you to make valuable contributions to this site. I think the other contributers would like it, too.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted December 23, 2010, by Matthew Lohry

Sheldon, I was curious about the bridge you mentioned that carried US50 over Yarrow Road but was not in the NBI, so I did a little research and discovered that it is listed in the 1992 NBI for Marion County, but Yarrow Road is designated FAS 1410 in the listing. The bridge was a 3-span concrete T-beam built in 1952. Apparently demolished prior to 2000, as it does not show up in the 2000 NBI for Marion County.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted December 22, 2010, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I guess that all the other bridges from Newton to Emporia were demolished and bypassed. I remember only two old bridges on this highway that I saw being bypassed. One was the Martin Creek Bridge near Florence, and was demolished and bypassed in 2001. I only had one glance at it before it completely disappeared. Another bridge on highway 50 crossed Yarrow Road, but was never found in the NBI.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted December 22, 2010, by Matthew Lohry

Sheldon, since this bridge was replaced in 1996, the NBI info for the old bridge can be found in the 1992 NBI listings. I replaced the NBI info that was here, which was for the new bridge, with the correct info for the old one. For any bridges replaced after 1992, their information can be found in the NBI listings on this website; you just have to choose the correct list out of the three.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted December 22, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Sure, but the listing is always more helpful for researchers if this information can be found.

Gould Creek Bridge
Posted December 22, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)


Do you know what type of bridge was located at this site?