3 votes

Chestnut Avenue Bridge


Photo provided by Laura Casey


BH Photo #304873

Street Views 


Parker through truss bridge over Walnut River on E. Chestnut Avenue
Arkansas City, Cowley County, Kansas
Open to traffic
Built 1925
Parker through truss
Length of largest span: 200.1 ft.
Total length: 290.0 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.06347, -97.02011   (decimal degrees)
37°03'48" N, 97°01'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/676026/4103746 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Arkansas City
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory numbers
KS 000180855107045 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 36300 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of February 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 30.9 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • September 9, 2017: New photo from Nick Schmiedeler
  • October 2, 2016: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Fence guardrail"
  • December 29, 2010: New Street View added by Robert Elder
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Street View link
  • January 29, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added NBI Data.
  • February 21, 2008: Added by Robert Elder


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


Chestnut Avenue Bridge
Posted September 10, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks to Nick's field visit, we can see that this bridge features a B.S. Co. Lackawanna brand. This brand indicates that the steel was fabricated after the merger of Bethlehem Steel and Lackawanna. You will only find this brand on bridges that were constructed in the 1920s onward.

Referring back to my previous comment about the scarcity of heavily constructed truss bridges from the 1920s and 30s in Kansas, it becomes apparent that a B.S. Co. Lackawanna brand would be a rare find in Kansas. The presence of this brand increases the local significance of this bridge.

Chestnut Avenue Bridge
Posted September 10, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Anybody who has spent time looking at truss bridges on the Kansas-Oklahoma border region is well aware of the fact that there is a very stark change in design as one crosses the state line.

Oklahoma is known for its massive membered and heavily constructed truss bridges that were generally built after about 1910, plus a few somewhat lighter bridges that were built between about 1900 and 1910. Oklahoma continued to build a variety of large, heavy truss bridges as the truss bridge era was winding down nationwide. Today, as one drives around Oklahoma, one is likely to encounter some large Parker trusses and Oklahoma's true specialty, the K Parker Truss. By contrast, Oklahoma has very few of the extremely lightweight Victorian era wrought iron truss bridges that can be found in states to the north and east.

After you cross into Kansas, the picture changes dramatically. Kansas has very few large, massive membered truss bridges from the 1920s and 1930s. During the latter part of the truss era, Kansas was building concrete Tee beams and Marsh Arch bridges. Surely these bridges would have cut into the number of trusses that were built at the time. Most of the remaining truss bridges in Kansas are the older and smaller lightweight, pin connected variety which are rare in Oklahoma.

This bridge, due to its massive construction, would fit in perfectly in Oklahoma. Yet and its current location, it is an outlier. A bridge like this is highly significant at the state level in Kansas, just as a wrought iron Victorian era truss would be extremely significant at the state level in Oklahoma.

Chestnut Avenue Bridge
Posted September 9, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler

Loved visiting this one today. Gorgeous from the side especially. And plaque stolen....of course...😤

Chestnut Avenue Bridge
Posted July 29, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Mr. Learned:

Thanks for posting that. I enjoyed reading the article. I am hoping that this bridge will be preserved. This is one of the few massive member riveted bridges in the area. I would come nearer expecting to see something like this in Oklahoma.

East Chestnut Avenue Bridge
Posted July 29, 2017, by Gary Learned (glearned [at] msn [dot] com)

According to the attached clipping from the Arkansas City Daily Traveler, the E Chestnut bridge was constructed starting in early 1929, officially opening February 8th, 1930.

Chestnut Avenue Bridge
Posted April 20, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The area around this bridge is receiving international attention. A recent discovery of a ca. 1601 cannonball has practically confirmed local suspicions that Arkansas City was built roughly on the site of a major Native American city known as Etzanoa.