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BNSF - Wakarusa River Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Nick Schmiedeler in July 2016

Enlarge

BH Photo #367059

Map 

Description 

In 1917 two people were killed in separate incidents by striking the bridge, an engineer while hanging off the train looking for a noise and a brakeman climbing a ladder to the top of a caboose.

Facts 

Overview
Pratt through truss bridge over Wakarusa River on Atchson Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad
Location
Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1897, Abutments Rebuilt 1936
Railroads
- Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (ATSF)
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
Design
Eight panel Pratt through truss
Also called
ATSF - Wakarusa River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.94869, -95.11136   (decimal degrees)
38°56'55" N, 95°06'41" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/317033/4313202 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Eudora
Inventory number
BH 45505 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

19th Century (6,226)
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (273)
BNSF Railway (1,110)
Built 1897 (199)
Built during 1890s (2,488)
Douglas County, Kansas (20)
Eudora, Kansas (3)
Kansas (2,728)
Open (36,892)
Owned by railroad (9,957)
Pratt through truss (4,624)
Pratt truss (8,069)
Railroad (13,230)
Through truss (12,948)
Truss (29,548)

Update Log 

  • October 11, 2016: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • September 1, 2013: Updated by Clark Vance: Some history added
  • June 15, 2010: Added by Robert Elder

Sources 

  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com

Comments 

BNSF - Wakarusa River Bridge
Posted October 19, 2017, by Joe (jw72184 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I know the owners of the property surrounding it, they would prefer no one trespass on their land, however if one is willing to paddle up from the Eudora boat docks it is quite easy to get to. The cross under the bridge was a pet.

BNSF - Wakarusa River Bridge
Posted October 11, 2016, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nick,

I LOVE it! How did you get back to it on foot? Certainly something I would love to add some photos to.

BNSF - Wakarusa River Bridge
Posted October 11, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I believe that Douglas County and Linn County are the only counties in the eastern third of Kansas without a single highway truss bridge within their borders, although Linn County does have a Marsh arch. Douglas County only has a couple stone arches, a few tee beans and perhaps a couple rigid frames, and maybe a concrete through girder or two. In other words, this is probably the only truss bridge in the county.

BNSF - Wakarusa River Bridge
Posted October 11, 2016, by Nick Schmiedeler

The cross in the ground under the bridge was particularly disturbing.....

BNSF - Wakarusa River Bridge
Posted October 11, 2016, by Nick Schmiedeler

This particular bridge extremely difficult to reach by foot, but worth the trek. Neat old solid piece of engineering.

Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Wakarusa River Bridge
Posted June 16, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge is surrounded by private property. Bing Bird's Eye has some great views of the bridge however.

The bridge has unique top panels. These panels feature diagonal members like other Pratt trusses, but the top panels are also subdivided by an additional brace that is perpendicular to the top chords. Bird's Eye shows this very well.