3 votes

SWM - Spring River Bridge


From the west bank of the Spring River.

Photo taken by Robert Elder in October 2004


BH Photo #111584



Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Spring River on Southwest Missouri Electric Railway
Baxter Springs, Cherokee County, Kansas
Built 1918
- Interurban
- Southwest Missouri Electric Railway (SWM)
Closed-spandrel arch
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.02989, -94.72557   (decimal degrees)
37°01'48" N, 94°43'32" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/346519/4099579 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Baxter Springs
Inventory number
BH 36233 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 25, 2019: New photo from Joe Sonderman
  • July 22, 2018: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • June 24, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added build date
  • October 20, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Updated Status
  • October 20, 2012: Updated by Clark Vance: Added categories "Other Interurban", "railroad"
  • February 10, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Adjusted GPS Coordinates.
  • February 8, 2008: Added by Robert Elder

Related Bridges 



SWM - Spring River Bridge
Posted January 14, 2020, by Luke

According to "Trolley through the Countryside" by Allison Chandler, the easternmost section didn't collapse, a NIMBY blew it up because he was mad that people were using it to fish on "his" property, despite the bridge not being his property at all.

SWM - Spring River Bridge
Posted April 9, 2019, by Darrell Powers (systemofadown311 [at] outlook [dot] com)

Every flood the bridge gets worse and worse.

SWM - Spring River Bridge
Posted April 9, 2019, by Darrell Powers (systemofadown311 [at] outlook [dot] com)

Cool bridge to explore, goes back in the woods a good bit.

SWM - Spring River Bridge
Posted July 22, 2018, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge is one of the most underrated closed spandrel concrete bridges in existence. Before satellite imagery was as good as is now, I had heard rumors of it extending over that island and across the east channel. I was very pleasantly surprised when satellite imagery became good enough to confirm the validity of those rumors.

It is sad that the easternmost span has collapsed but at the same time I'm thrilled that the overwhelming majority the bridge still exists. This is truly a spectacular structure.

If the City of Baxter Springs ever manages to purchase that island, this bridge could be an awesome restoration project if funding were available.

SWM - Spring River Bridge
Posted July 22, 2018, by Anonymous

This one an absolute blast to visit, public side access at end of a city block, completely welcoming although should be careful when walking across the river span, as mentioned earlier, run into the famous purple paint "no trespassing" warning, and does in fact continue across marshland and halfway across another creek at other end before looks like a collapse or deconstruction (see satellite image - wow!!)...arch tops visible through platform, so fun, great piece of history, this may be one of the longer examples in existence?- love these bridges

SWM - Spring River Bridge
Posted December 15, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

KSHS surveyed this bridge in November 2015. They determined that it is potentially NRHP Eligible:


SWM - Spring River Bridge
Posted June 24, 2015, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I could not see the eastern end of this bridge during my field visit due to foliage. Now that Bing and Google have released new imagery, I can tell that this bridge is much longer than I had assumed.

Not only does the bridge cross the West Channel of the Spring River, it also continues across an island and crosses the Back Channel. The bridge may comprise roughly 24 spans, not counting the easternmost span which has collapsed.