Rating:
6 votes

Mulberry Creek Bridge

Photos 

Meeting at the center of the bridge

Photo taken by Julie Bowers in November 2012

Enlarge

BH Photo #249601

Map 

Culvert to replace bridge 

Written by Wayne R Keller

This bridge was placed in service at its present location in 1958 or 1959 after being removed from crossing the Arkansas River, east of Ft. Dodge, Kansas when new concrete bridge placed in service at that location in 1958. These two sections of the bridge were used at this normally dry creek crossing to elevate the crossing well above the old concrete bridge that had flood water over it many times. This bridge and crossing provides the only all weather ingress and egress to my residence and ranch. It is used daily by myself, my hired man, the mail man and is available for emergency services. During dry weather anyone can use the bridge since the minimum maintenance roads past my driveway are open, but during wet weather it is my only way in and out and no other landowner can use it because of the minimum maintenance roads. There are approximately 150 square miles of watershed above this crossing and there is quite a history of flooding at this crossing. This ranch has been in our family since 1905.

Over three years ago I was approached by officials of the county with the idea that they would sell me the bridge for one dollar if they could close the road and provide other access to my property, which I was agreeable. That did not happen.

On May 16, 2012 an inspector found a broken pin in the bridge and on June 4, 2012 the county commission voted to scrap the bridge and replace it with a seven foot culvert. I have appealed the decision to district court.

I am currently doing research on the flood history at this crossing. I am also doing research on the bridge history. There are some that say the bridge was in use as the Second Avenue bridge in Dodge City prior to its use on the Arkansas River in 1910.

My hope is that I can save this bridge, but unfortunately I am the only one fighting the county commission on this issue.

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Mulberry Creek, 2.6 mi. south and 3.0 mi. west of Ford
Location
Ford County, Kansas
Status
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Inspection on May 16, 2012 found a broken pin and bridge was closed. Ford County Commissioners voted on June 4, 2012 to scrap the bridge and replace with seven foot culvert. I have appealed the commission's decision to district court. W R Keller maandpakeller@cox.net
History
Built 1906; rehabilitated 1958
Builders
- Cambria Iron Works of Johnstown, Pennsylvania (Iron Manufacturer)
- Kansas City Bridge Co. of Kansas City, Missouri
Design
Two five panel, pin-connected Pratt through trusses
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 85.0 ft.
Total length: 176.8 ft.
Deck width: 19.3 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.7 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 4, 1990
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.60133, -99.80903   (decimal degrees)
37°36'05" N, 99°48'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/428585/4161891 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Kingsdown
Inventory numbers
KS 000290549206300 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
NRHP 64500222 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 17723 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of February 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 35 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • March 2, 2013: New photos from Julie Bowers
  • October 27, 2012: Updated by Jason Smith: Added link and corrected typo
  • August 22, 2012: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Builder
  • August 18, 2012: Essay added by Wayne R Keller
  • April 27, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited multiple categories.

Sources 

  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Mulberry Creek Bridge near Ford, Kansas - A profile from the Bridgehunter's Chronicles
  • Wayne R Keller
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • Julie Bowers - jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com

Comments 

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted June 5, 2018, by Rhys Martin (rhysfunk [at] gmail [dot] com)

Stopped by to visit the bridge on a weekend trip through Kansas. Sad that it's still closed, but happy that it's not demolished! My poor little Nissan barely made it down those dusty roads.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted July 7, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Apparently Mr. Keller won his fight!:

http://www.dodgeglobe.com/article/20140707/News/140709617

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 30, 2013, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller at cox dot net)

Roger Cornish did the story on the 10PM news KWCH, CBS Wichita. Thank you KWCH for your interest and coverage of this story.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 30, 2013, by Robert Elder

Great news. Hopefully you will get some support there. Wichitans have experience in this regard after their successful attempt to preserve the John Mack Bridge.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 30, 2013, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller at cox dot net)

I was contacted this morning and agreed to an interview with reporter from KWCH Television(Wichita). Story was to run at 6 and 10PM today on local channel 6, but I did not see it. If I see the video and can link it here, I will.

http://www.kwch.com/news/news-adk-kwch-dodge-city-man-tries-...

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 29, 2013, by Carol Jenkner (c_jenkner [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I see in this morning's Globe that Elam stated that one-tenth of the bridge is fractured. That seems a slight exaggeration...

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 26, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have signed the petition and would encourage others to do the same.

It is encouraging to see that Kansas Territorial Magazine has taken an interest in this bridge. For those of you unfamiliar with this publication, it emphasizes the history and points of interest in Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado (Kansas Territory once stretched westward to the Great Divide, and included the city of Denver).

Too many Kansans do not appreciate their history or state. Of course, the state has often been made fun of for it's supposed honor of being the flattest state in the USA (it is not). It seems to me that many Kansans just accept the popular belief that "there is nothing here", and that is a shame.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 26, 2013, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller at cox dot net)

I now have a website. There is a petition that can be signed and you can "like" on facebook.

http://www.mulberrycreekbridge.com/

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 25, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nasty county administrator who says once we are through 30 days then the dozers in day 31. we tried to get press everywhere. Floods helped stop some and may cause army corp to not permit low water crossing.

Next thing is an offer to purchase for Keller and let them put low water crossing.

It's called oil and gas play folks. even though they won't use the bridge or a low water crossing with a crazy grade change.

Follow the money.

time to get political everywhere. question engineers with little truss experience, commissioners and supervisor, county conservation boards. get involved and go to meetings.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 24, 2013, by Carol Jenkner (c_jenkner [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I approached Territorial Magazine about writing an article about the old bridge and they are eager to publish it. My rough draft is done and I welcome any comments you might wish to make. This will give the bridge a little more publicity, but it will not come out for several months. On a similar subject, have you seen the mess made of the old Hinkle House? They may as well have torn it down. Dodge City has little appreciation for its history.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2013, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller at cox dot net)

Had I been able to get to my place I would have had an awesome picture of the water under the bridge. The water was within a few inches of the deck. There was limbs and grass caught in the cross bracing under the deck.

On the east end of the bridge I have a wildlife camera that captures pictures of deer, turkey, bob cat, coyotes and even my cows. The camera has slid around the tree such that all you see is the east bridge abutment and you will notice a shiny medallion on the one post. That is a flood marker from November 17, 1971, which was not the highest flood ever, but one that the record still exists on the post.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2013, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller at cox dot net)

Unfortunately on August 8, 2013 I was out and was prevented from returning to my farm by water over the road west of the bridge. I roughly calculated the cross sectional areas for water under the bridge at about 1200 square feet and the same for the water over the road, so the total was about 2400 square feet. The planned seven foot culvert has a cross sectional area of 38 square feet.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Mr. Keller:

Have you considered bringing this to the attention of a statewide newspaper such at the Topeka Capitol Journal or the Wichita Eagle? The Hays and Hutchinson newspapers have a fairly wide readership as well.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Sounds like a job for an independent newspaper reporter, if there are any in the area....

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hi Mr. Erickson:

I have seen those "taker" studies, and you have to take them with a grain of salt. Many of them factor in people who are on Medicare and Social Security. Thus people who are receiving now are people who paid in during previous years. Because Kansas has a rather high percentage of seniors, we receive plenty of Medicare and Social Security money, but it does not go to state coffers. The same issue applies to many of the Sunbelt States such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona among others.

Additionally, these surveys often count military spending. Thus, if the Army wants to spend money at Fort Riley or Fort Leavenworth, the survey counts that as money received by Kansas. Like Medicare and Social Security money, it does not go to state coffers. This same issue can be observed in Georgia (Fort Benning), Oklahoma (Fort Sill), Texas (numerous installations), and a few other (primarily southern and western) states.

Of course many Kansas farmers receive money from farm bills. Unfortunately, this just puts the price of equipment up...but that is another discussion for another day...

I have long suspected that somebody is about to prosper from the demolition of this bridge. The enthusiasm to demolish this bridge when logic suggests otherwise is unbelievable.

This creek floods - even though it is in a relatively dry part of the state. It flooded just last week. A low-water crossing is not going to cut the muster.

The bridge needs one pin replaced...one pin...

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2013, by K. A. Erickson

Outside of those here and a few historical groups, not all historical societies support bridge restoration or preservation sadly, outside I find no one really cares.

I suspect that the commissioners already have a contract drawn up for a buddy buddy of theirs to tear out the bridge. They were just going through all the niceties to make sure their T's were dotted and their i's crossed. The thing about politics is that it is who you know, and the benefits are reaped accordingly.

Look to see if the costs to demolish somehow skyrocket during and Uncle Sam needs to reimburse the county, err contractor. Poke around during election time and see if the contractor gave a generous gift in the amount of possibly the size of the cost overrun to those in office. I've seen an instance like this before.

It should be noted that Kansas is a taker state, they get more than they contribute to the rest of the country. $1 nets them $1.12. My state gets ripped off, every dollar given to the feds gets only 88 cents in return. Those 12 cents go to Kansas to tear out perfectly fine bridges. As such I should be able to dictate what they do with those funds to some extent.

Robert asks, "Why not fix the pin?" "Why can't it be bypassed?" Because in buddy buddy's contract they get the metal from scrapping the bridge and some places pay good money for real metal. If the bridge is left standing that in their minds is a waste of metal and waste of potential profit. They will quickly ask you Robert, "Why do you hate America?" "Why do you hate the Freedoms that make this country so great?"

Remember it's all legal/right until some independent blogger, wayward journalist, or concerned citizen starts asking around and then – TERRORIST!

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

If the commissioners want to eradicate all truss bridges in the county, they will be successful with the demolition of this one. It appears to be the last remaining truss bridge in Ford County.

Is the county replacing the bridge without federal funds? This would make a difference given its apparent listing on the NRHP.

Does the Kansas State Historical Society have the ability to stop the demolition? Can the bridge be bypassed and allowed to remain standing? I know that won't help Mr. Keller during floods, but at least it would preserve the bridge for now.

Finally, the big question...again...why not just replace the broken pin?

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

"...eradicating the bridge?" That's seriously how it was worded in the minutes?! Nice to see a county in Kansas actually use wording that supports my theory that most counties in Kansas view historic metal truss bridges much like a cockroach infestation.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 20, 2013, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller at cox dot net)

From the Ford County Commissioners' Meeting Minutes, Meeting 2013-37, August 5, 2013,

"Bids to Move Bridge

There were no bids received to remove the Valley Road Bridge. Mr. Halbgewachs will talk to the Kansas Historical Society and the Corps of Engineers to see about documenting the history of the bridge before moving forward with eradicating the bridge and constructing something else."

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 11, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Rain in a creek. COUNTY SAID THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.

HUH.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 11, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Rain in a creek. COUNTY SAID THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.

HUH.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 10, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Rain in a creek. COUNTY SAID THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.

HUH.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted March 29, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

For Immediate Release - March 29, 2013

http://youtu.be/_8Yw9BfkJo4

Dodge City’s 2nd Avenue Historic Steel Bridge

Fate To Be Determined At Meeting in April

Julie Bowers, Executive Director of The N. Skunk River Greenbelt Association and consultant for Workin’ Bridges of Grinnell, Iowa, is seeking additional information about the historic old steel bridge that was built across the Arkansas River in Dodge City, Kansas in 1906. Two sections of the original bridge remain standing on the Mulberry Creek, southwest of Ford, Kansas, about twenty miles from its original location in the historic cow town of Dodge City. “We are looking for images or information about where the other trusses from the bridge ended up,” stated Bowers. “They could be included in the video that we are producing for the meeting.”

The two sections of the original 2nd Avenue truss bridge placed over Mulberry Creek on Valley Road, southwest of Ford, were opened in 1959. An inspection in May of 2012 revealed a broken pin and the bridge was closed by Kansas Department of Transportation.

On closer examination the pin turned out to be a replacement part, a hole in the center and a key way channel down the length point toward a vehicle’s axle being the source for the replacement part. Pretty clever for the day and it lasted nearly 60 years. This part can be replaced with a new pin, the work was estimated by BACH Steel in November 2012.

Wayne Keller’s quest to work with this bridge began three years ago when the Ford County Commissioners approached him with their desire to abandon the bridge and close the road across the Mulberry Creek. He agreed, if the Commissioners would provide access to his home from 123 Road. Some work was done on the minimum maintenance road but the commission decided that would be too expensive and stopped those efforts. After the broken pin was discovered, the Ford County Commission decided to replace the bridge with a culvert rather than improve 123 Road. It was at that time that Mr. Keller enlisted the help of Workin’ Bridges, a consulting firm for historic bridge restoration, who in turn did a site inspection and provided an estimate for pin repair.

On Monday, October 15, 2012, the Ford County Engineer submitted the plans for the low water crossing to the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), prompting the Section 106 review. The Kansas State Historic Society determined that the bridge is eligible for the National Register and that replacement is considered an adverse effect in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. They are currently consulting with the Army Corps of Engineers to avoid and minimize adverse effects to the bridge and KSHS recommends that the bridge be retained and repaired.

In the meantime, Keller had appealed the county’s plans for a low water crossing given the potential for flooding in the large Mulberry Creek watershed, evidenced by high water markers attached on the abutment. He appealed the commissions ruling through a court hearing to address the culvert under K.S.A. 19-223. In February of 2013 the court refused a hearing of the issues and dismissed the action.

The meeting in El Dorado on April 10, 2013 at the Army Corp of Engineers will be the next step. Workin’ Bridges is also developing alternative options for the spans in the event the outcome dictates moving them and any input from the citizens would be welcome for concepts for alternative uses. The spans are still in great shape. Perhaps they could become a performance stage utilized in downtown Dodge City, used on a trail system, or placed in a park but grant requirements dictate different paths,” stated Bowers, “They really they could work for generations to come right where they cross the Mulberry Creek. Listing on the National Register makes them eligible for historic preservation grants. The Kansas City Bridge Company has just over 100 bridges left across the country. Their work, if maintained, can last indefinitely, preserve the quality of life and provide a reasonable crossing for most vehicles.”

Julie Bowers may be contacted at Workin’ Bridges on Facebook, P.O. Box 332, Grinnell, Iowa 50112, 641-260-1262, jbowerz1@gmail.com, or at www.skunkriverbridge.org. Workin’ Bridges is a part of The N. Skunk River Greenbelt Association, a 501(c)(3) corporation, dedicated to historic truss and greenbelt restoration.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted March 10, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

ARMY Corp has requested a meeting with Ford County officials and their engineer, KSHS and Workin' Bridges. It was scheduled for next week but of courswe those officials had prior commitments. ACE said that they did not address the mitigation of an adverse effect. While claiming that w

the bridge was in immenent danger of collapse they didn't block it off, we had a meeting of neighbors there. The engineer sited our info on the axle as a replacement part.

W'B submitted photos, drawings and assessment/estimate for the repair/of the pin which would totally mitigate the adverse condition of SCRAPPING.

First time for me to see Section 106 in action. More will be revealed. If Wayne hadn't done his research, if Bridgehunter hadn't been there that research and support it would not have been in a process at SHPO to update the history and find it eligible for NRHP status and when the county applied for a permit it wouldn't have triggered Section 106: Wayne's appeal slowed things down enough that the county didn't get it scrapped and now can't. If they do something rash, it will affect their work with ACE for permits in the future.

Good job everybody!

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted March 2, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

the postcard is very cool. Thanks for posting that.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted February 5, 2013, by jayhwak

I was browsing the Antique Mall in downtown Lawrence Kansas when I saw a postcard of a bridge out of the corner of my eye. I was super excited when I saw what bridge it was a postcard of given the discussion here over the last couple months!

The postmark on the back is December 8th, 1908.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted December 6, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

http://m.dodgeglobe.com/article/20121205/NEWS/121209608/1001/NEWS/future-of-historic-bridge-in-question&template=mobileArticle

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted November 27, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The State Historic Preservation Office wishes to provide a comment regarding this project. Our office has determined that this bridge is eligible for the National Register and that replacement is considered an adverse effect in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. We are currently consulting with the Army Corps of Engineers to avoid and minimize adverse effects to the bridge. We recommend that the bridge be retained and repaired.

from Kim Gant at KSHS today, responding to Ford County request to FDA for a permit.....

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted November 6, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The chairman of the county commission invited me to present our findings during the open comment portion the meeting yesterday. We hope they rescind their motion to scrap and replace with a low water crossing and take our advice to fix the pin connection, leaving their history in place.

I have photos of the bridge to/parse into different locals where there are other bridges. These photos courtesy of the phone and Kansas Historic Museum in Dodge City.

How do you approach this?

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted November 5, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

turns out the broken pin is actually a piece of axle. this bridge is in its third location and they lost a few parts.

section 106 has kicked in. this is good because county was ready to start scrapping.

too much history here to say nothing. I shall be talking today.....although county wouldnt let us on the agenda.

this bridge poster child for fracture critical....didnt fall down and no other signs of damage.....no packed rust or rivet damage.....

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted October 30, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks as always for the updates, Julie. Hopefully all goes well.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted October 30, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

For Immediate Release 10/29/2012–Grinnell, Iowa

Workin’ Bridges, the historic truss bridge restoration/consulting arm of The N. Skunk River Greenbelt Association (NSRGA) has been retained by Wayne Keller of Ford, Kansas to aid him in his quest to preserve the Mulberry Creek Bridge. Julie Bowers, Executive Director of NSRGA will perform a site visit at the bridge on Valley Road on Saturday, November 3. The public is invited to meet at the spans at 10am for an informal discussion and tour. The site visit, research and photography will result in a scope of work, estimate and construction schedule for the repair of the pin connection of the two-span Mulberry Creek Bridge. These documents will be presented to the County Commissioners on November 5, 2012 in an effort to adequately inform the public about the costs of replacement versus the cost for restoration. At this time, the Commissioners are still reviewing whether they will put Keller on the agenda. The Kansas State Historical Society will require this information as they make their determination on the fate of the structure, eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

The Ford County Commissioners are moving forward with a plan that would scrap the two eighty-five foot spans of a pin connected Pratt through truss bridge across the Mulberry Creek on Valley Road and replace the bridge with a seven foot culvert. The two spans of bridge were originally part of a six span bridge contracted by the Ford County Commissioners in 1906 to replace a wooden toll bridge built in 1873 across the Arkansas River on Second Avenue in Dodge City. According to research by Keller, the entire steel bridge was moved to a location across the Arkansas River on the Coronado Road in 1935, then in 1958 a concrete bridge replaced the steel bridge on the Coronado Road and two spans were moved to its present location on the Mulberry Creek.

A broken pin on a vertical post was discovered in an inspection of the bridge in May 2012 and the bridge has been closed to traffic restricting Mr. Keller’s access to home and property and mail service. Keller’s desire to preserve a historical bridge of Dodge City led him to contact with Workin’ Bridges to obtain restoration advice.

Utilizing photography and information from online databases, Workin’ Bridges collaborator Nels Raynor of BACH Steel, Holt, Michigan came up with a preliminary numbers. $10,000 to $15,000 was estimated for one pin repair, with a final estimate required, based on the site visit and engineering. Raynor has been involved in bridge restoration for over fifteen years, most recently working in Texas on the Piano Bridge 1885 iron bridge restoration.

Keller’s quest to work with this bridge began three years ago when the Ford County Commissioners approached him with their desire to abandon the bridge and close the road across the Mulberry Creek at that location, if the Commission would provide access to his home from 123 Road, which Mr. Keller agreed. After the broken pin was discovered the Ford County Commission decided to replace the bridge with a culvert rather than improve 123 Road. The Ford County Engineer submitted those plans to the Army Corps of Engineers(ACE) on Monday, October 15, 1012.

By pursuing the permit for the demolition of the Mulberry Creek Bridge through ACE, the Kansas State Historical Society has begun its review under Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966. In this instance KSHS was notified of the permit request through ACE and will be commenting on the structure’s future.

NSRGA • PO Box 332 • Grinnell, Iowa 50112 • 641.260.1262 • jbowerz1@gmail.com • www.skunkriverbridge.org

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted October 27, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Workin' Bridges is headed to Kansas next week to do a site visit, prepare a scope of work and a final estimate to preasent to the Ford County Commissioners. The contracted engineer is following a trend in Kansas to replace bridges which provided access during bad weather as well as good weather with a low water crossing. The culverts costing 70k would be partially paid for by scrap....when the pin needs only around 15k to repair. Doesn't make sense on any level ....until you look in the shadows.....yep seen this before.

Follow the money....we don't live in that county but someone from their stands to make a bit.....

The request for permit probably shocked the engineer when Army Corp sent to KSHS and Section 106 was triggered....I was surprised too becauawe no federal funds were being used.....it was the water shed issue......

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 24, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Fmiser:

Not a problem. I just thought you might have missed the comment where Mr. Keller confirmed the builder. You are correct that one can not always know for certain based on portal bracing. As an example, the Long Shoals Bridge that we have been discussing on here has portal bracings reminiscent of those on WIBC structures,even though it was built by the Midland Bridge Co.

Glad to have you on board here. I appreciate your contributions to this website. Keem 'em coming.

Robert

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 24, 2012, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

Robert, sorry if my comment sounded like I was suggesting you were jumping to conclusions. That wasn't my intent.

Earlier you wrote "The knee bracing did make me suspect that the Kansas City Bridge Co. was the builder". I wanted to caution you that I've seen that type of brace on other builders bridges so _next_ time you see a knee brace like that on an unlabeled bridge you don't stick your neck out too far and make presumptions based on that feature alone.

Again, I appologize if it came across as though I was scolding you. *smiles*

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 23, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Fmiser:

You might want to re-read the comments section. I did not add the builder until Mr. Keller confirmed the builder of the 2nd Avenue Bridge in Dodge City. It is almost a certainty that these spans were re-used from that bridge.

I had suspected Kansas City Bridge Co. as they were a prolific builder in the region, but it was only a hunch until we got confirmation.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller [at] cox [dot] net)

From various newspaper articles, I find:

1906 The Ford County Commissioners let a contract to the Kansas City Bridge Company for a steel bridge of six spans of eighty-five feet each for $20,997. This bridge would replace a wooden bridge across the Arkansas River on Second Avenue. The wooden bridge was constructed originally as a toll bridge, but in 1885 the citizens voted to buy that bridge for $8,000 from the owner and do away with the toll.

June 28, 1906 the new steel bridge across the Arkansas River on Second Avenue was dedicated. Final cost on the bridge was $19,987 due to Mr. Maitland(contractor?) using lumber from the old wooden bridge in the construction of the new bridge.

In 1935 a new concrete bridge on Second Avenue was being constructed to replace the steel truss bridge.

June 22, 1935, Ford County paid the state highway department $1,000 for the disassembled steel bridge. I would suspect that sometime from the time the Ford County Commissioner paid for the bridge in 1906 to 1935, the state highway department took over ownership and maintenance of the bridge.

December 17, 1936, the steel bridge was placed in service on the Coronado Road east of Fort Dodge and east of Wilroads Gardens.

December 1, 1958, the steel bridge was taken out of service on the Coronado Road being replaced with a new concrete bridge.

Winter 1959, two spans of the steel bridge were installed over the Mulberry Creek. I think this would be the correct time for the the construction over the Mulberry. I remember it was a unusually wet winter. My family ran a sundries store and soda fountain in Ford and my brother and I attended school in Ford. There was a temporary road going into the field to the north of the concrete bridge and that road was rutted deep, so my father began taking my mother, my brother and myself from the house to the car we left parked on the west side of the creek in the scoop of the front end loader on a Ford 8N tractor. NOTE: Since the bridge closure on May 17th of this year, I have again had to walk out three days because of wet weather and impassable minimum maintenance roads(deja vu fifty-three years later).

Remnants of the old concrete bridge can be seen in this picture. Flood water had been well over the old concrete bridge many times, which was the reason for putting the steel bridge across the normally dry creek that has a watershed above this crossing of about 150 square miles.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

Robert, I'm not wanting to rain on your parade, but those curved knee braces on the portal may be common to the Kansas City Bridge Co., but I have seen them on a lot of other bridges too. Mostly 1910 (or so) and earlier. So personally I have given up using the quarter-circle knee brace as a way to identify the bridge builder.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller [at] cox [dot] net)

Another newspaper article about the Second Avenue Bridge and a snapshot of the Coronado Bridge.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller [at] cox [dot] net)

Here are the new and old Coronado Bridges from the Dodge City Daily Globe, December 1, 1958

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller [at] cox [dot] net)

BINGO, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller [at] cox [dot] net)

Not quite there yet, Julie. This is the builder and build date on the Second Avenue Bridge, not the Coronado Bridge/Mulberry Creek Bridge. I still have that research to do. Robert had mentioned that the portal bracing looked like the Kansas City Bridge Company and the Second Avenue Bridge was built by KCBC, so would suspect that the Mulberry Creek Bridge is a KCBC bridge also.

So much to find out and so little time available to me at the moment, but I will get there. A clone could help, maybe, but as old and slow as I am getting it might take two or three.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

That is great research. A builder and a date. What are your commissioners saying?

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

That is great research. A builder and a date. What are your commissioners saying?

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

You probably figured this out already, but my previous comment should have said "bridge" not "bride". No women are currently being added to the NRHP.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Excellent, now we have a builder. The knee bracing did make me suspect that the Kansas City Bridge Co. was the builder, but now we have confirmation. All of this information could be very useful should the bride ever be considered for NRHP listing.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2012, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller [at] cox [dot] net)

Robert,

I had just a little time to research this morning and here is what I found about the Second Avenue Bridge, which appears to be the same design as the Mulberry Creek Bridge.

In the June 29, 1967, Dodge City Daily Globe:

"Urban Klenke county commissioner, found records in the Court written by H. S. Connaway, then county clerk, that tell of the events leading up to the building and dedicating of the new steel bridge, June 28, 1906. The dedication was all done with proper ceremony and with the driving of a golden spike in the center of the bridge. The 1906 bridge contract was let for $20,997 to the Kansas City Bridge Co."

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Wayne:

I know that Julie has already spoken with KSHS, so I think that connection has been made. They are familiar with her work through her involvement with the Long Shoals Bridge.

Hopefully your documentation of the history of the bridge, and of the flooding issue will help convince the commissioners to approve repairing the bridge.

Also, I think another span from the 2nd Avenue Bridge may have been located here: http://bridgehunter.com/ks/ford/000290533805960/

that Duck Creek span was demolished in 1994.

Julie:

The portal bracings are similar with the exception of the knee bracing. This bridge has curved knee braces which are reminiscent of those used by the Kansas City Bridge Co.

Nathan, et. al,

If you have any feedback on how we might proceed with p:eserving this bridge, please chime in.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2012, by Wayne R Keller

Julie,

I don't find a pic at the moment taken that would really show it good due to the vegetation on the north side.

The first picture is looking west. The broken pin is on the west section of the bridge and is at the second I-beam from the west end and on the north side.

The second picture is looking north where the broken pin is.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

KSHS said that unless the county wants federal dollars for the culvert Section 106 will not kick in but they were happy to know about your project.

Wayne, which pin is broken. You can identify using your photo saying wgich span, which side and which vertical. Nels says 10000 - 15000 for repair depending where it is. Have to removed decking and shore up, reset and realign eyebars. Just a construction job...

Nice image of the twin bridge in Dodge City.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 20, 2012, by Wayne R Keller

Robert,

Thank you for your kind words. I would appreciate anything you can do at KSHS. Thanks!

I am doing research on the Second Avenue Bridge in Dodge City. This picture calls it the bridge on the new trail, not sure if it is the Second Avenue Bridge. Notice the portal bracing.

And followed by the Mulberry Creek Bridge.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 20, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have not been able to find a builder yet. The KSHS link at the bottom of the comments section still functions, but no builder is listed.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 20, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Julie:

I think my preferences would be in this order:

1. Repair the bridge and get it back open for traffic. If the pin is the only issue, this would be much cheaper and easier than a replacement project. Not only would this save the county money, it would still provide a crossing that is not subject to flooding on a regular basis. Of course, this option would preserve this historic bridge.

2. Find out if Dodge City, or some other location in the county needs, or wants, a pedestrian bridge. They could use this bridge instead of a Mail-Order Bridge (MOB). Moving the bridge should not be substantially more expensive than ordering a pre-fabricated pedestrian bridge.

3. Find out if another location in the region (ie southwestern Kansas) needs a pedestrian bridge.

4. Replace the bridge on a new alignment, but leave the old bridge standing for possible re-use. This might take a small amout of neighboring land, but if the landowner would be okay with it, that could be a workable solution.

5. Demolish the bridge, but preserve a few special parts such as portal bracing at a local museum. Conduct a thorough documentation for historical purposes.

I know that we can not save every bridge, but this one is unique and is the last remaning truss bridge in the county.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 20, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Do we know the builder? Have sent an email to Patrick Zollner at KSHS to see if there might be funds for a repair of the pind. Document for educational purposes Robert. Any other ideas.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 20, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Mr. Keller:

Thank you very much for your effort to save this bridge and for your research concerning its history. I can assure you that this bridge is of substantial historical value.

First, this bridge is a rare example of a multiple span through truss on the High Plains.

Secondly, the bridge features a portal bracing that is not common in Kansas at all. It might be the only example of this design in the state.

I would stronly support any plans to repair, or at least save this bridge in some fashion.

Julie is currently working to save the Long Shoals Bridge in Bourbon Co. Kansas, among other structures. That bridge is in far worse condition then this one, but can still be salvaged for pedestrian use. This pin replacement should be an easy fix.

I have some contacts at the Kansas State Historical Society. I can send them a message about this bridge if you like.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 19, 2012, by Wayne R Keller (maandpakeller [at] cox [dot] net)

The break is rusty, so it has been broken for awhile and has carried traffic all the time. Rough estimate the pin is 2.5" x 10".

I will be at the county commission meeting on Monday, the 20th, just for observation. Court has not scheduled my appeal yet. I am trying to get as much research done as possible before appearing before the court.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 19, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Wow. That picture is awesome. The first time I have seen a broken pin......and the bridge did not fall down from that break. Not that it can not. Fracture critical? New pins are stainless, they cost around 500 depending on the size. The thing would be to inspect the others to determine why it failed. Our bridge will replace all lins on restoration, although the Piano Bridge retained the original.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 19, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Wow. That picture is awesome. The first time I have seen a broken pin......and the bridge did not fall down from that break. Not that it can not. Fracture critical? New pins are stainless, they cost around 500 depending on the size. The thing would be to inspect the others to determine why it failed. Our bridge will replace all lins on restoration, although the Piano Bridge retained the original.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 18, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This situation reminds me of what Jim Cooper once said about old bridges. He said a old bridge is like a favorite coat that is missing a button. Why would you throw that coat out when you could just replace the button.

Replace the pin and be done with it. Culverts are for losers!

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 18, 2012, by Wayne R Keller

I would welcome that. I would like to save this bridge.

Thanks,

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted August 18, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Pins can be replaced. We would be happy to help advocate and give an estimate for repair.

Mulberry Creek Bridge
Posted April 27, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

KSHS page with photograph:

http://khri.kansasgis.org/index.cfm?tab=details&in=057-0000-...

Multiple span through truss bridges are rare on the High Plains (an area which comprises roughly the western quarter of Kansas), but this is a nice example of a double span Pratt through truss. The Kansas default date of 1910 is probably rather accurate in this instance.