Rating:
1 vote

Clear Creek Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Nick Schmiedeler in April 2017

Enlarge

BH Photo #385028

Map 

Description 

This bridge is immediately north of a county road, but it is likely on private property.

As a courtesy to the landowner, please do not visit without permission. Landowner information will not be disseminated through this website.

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned through truss bridge over Clear Creek.
Location
Elk County, Kansas
Status
Derelict/abandoned
Design
Through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.35849, -96.14454   (decimal degrees)
37°21'31" N, 96°08'40" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/752897/4138468 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 75094 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

Abandoned (3,023)
Elk County, Kansas (15)
Kansas (2,693)
Owned privately (1,282)
Through truss (12,893)
Truss (29,433)

Update Log 

  • April 1, 2017: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • January 9, 2017: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited name. It appears that this bridge crossed Clear Creek and not the Elk River.
  • January 7, 2017: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Description.

Sources 

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

Comments 

Clear Creek Bridge
Posted April 1, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

Nick as always awesome thanks for making the journey.

Clear Creek Bridge
Posted April 1, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler

Parked on the main road just past the new existing bridge that crosses a small branch of the creek. Walked straight down a hill and around a marshy corner - no fences, no signs, appears to be public roadside property, and had to squint to see this monster - it is so unbelievably camouflaged with its fading silver paint and rust amongst the trees, it was bizarre. One of those bridges so old that several trees have grown around, and swallowed, portions of the beams. A beauty sitting alone off the main portion of the creek now.

Clear Creek Bridge
Posted January 10, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Great work, Anonymous. I am going to have to start using that Historic Aerials website more regularly. Until recently, their coverage of rural Kansas was primarily limited to post - 1990, but they are adding more old imagery at a rapid rate now.

http://www.historicaerials.com/

Clear Creek Bridge
Posted January 10, 2017, by Anonymous

This Hybrid Aerial / TOPO map better shows the original alignment of Clear Creek and the widening at its mouth on Elk River which might explain the relatively long span of the bridge.

The mouth of the manmade channel is farther downstream, i.e., north and east of the original mouth.

Clear Creek Bridge
Posted January 9, 2017, by M C Toyer

Here's recent (2012) TOPO and Aerial views with more precise concur lines and hydrography.

It seems pretty clear the new channel was manmade given its arrow straight course and the slumping of the banks and pooling at the 1970 replacement bridge per the NBI data and Google aerial.

Clear Creek Bridge
Posted January 9, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Roger: I wondered about that. I hope that you are right, because it won't hurt my feelings if there is no longer an active stream carving away at the pylons, save for during a major flood.

Nathan: Elk County had not yet been graced by Google's 3-D imagery. I agree with your assessment however. When I use Google Earth, I turn it off by using the clock feature. Otherwise, the bridges disappear into the trees even worse than usual - or in some cases just disappear.

Clear Creek Bridge
Posted January 9, 2017, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Here's another theory, after comparing the 1962 topo map with the present satellite imagery.

I think the bridge is still in its original location, though it is now crossing dry land. Sometime after 1962, Clear Creek changed course to the north, either by a natural flood or deliberately by man. When it did, it washed out the entire road on the north side of the creek - the creek now appears to occupy the former alignment of the road. Rather than rebuild the road close to where it was on the north side of the creek and move the bridge, which could have left the road vulnerable to another washout, the county simply rebuilt the road on its present alignment south of the creek, along with a new bridge at a new location. This also eliminated two sharp curves on the road.

Clear Creek Bridge
Posted January 9, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Robert, if you are trying to rely on Google's 3D modeling of satellite imagery (to create simulated birds eye view), I would note that there are many errors with their system especially where bridges are concerned. Personally, I wish they'd never done the 3D Texturing to the platforms for which they have done that, as it actually decreases the accuracy and detail of the imagery.

Elk River (Old Channel) Bridge
Posted January 9, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Great find. Thanks for posting. Perhaps Google Earth misread the landscape.

Elk River (Old Channel) Bridge
Posted January 9, 2017, by M C Toyer

Robert -

Take a look at this 1962 USGS Map. The prior road alignment crossed Clear Creek running north/south. It would appear the bridge remains in its original location,

Elk River (Old Channel) Bridge
Posted January 9, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Based on Google Earth, it appears that this bridge is sitting on a low ridge between Clear Creek and the Elk River. It literally appears to be a bridge on a ridge.

I am going to suggest three possibilities:

1. The Google Earth imagery is distorted.

2. The bridge once spanned Clear Creek on the old road alignment. When the new bridge was completed, this old truss was set aside instead of being cut up for scrap.

3. The bridge once spanned the Elk River somewhere in the area. I suggest this as a possibility due the truss length.

I still think that it is a lightweight, 7 panel, Pratt through truss with a length of roughly 125 feet.

Elk River (Old Channel) Bridge
Posted January 6, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge has been abandoned by both the road and the river. It appears to be about 125' long.