So, the age old question:
Is it a Kingpost or a Waddell Wannabe? Either way, it is another bizarre paired angle bridge.
In some respects I am almost glad when these bridges get closed. Closure is almost a relief given the string of oversized vehicle attacks we've had in the last few years.
This bridge is still public apparently, but in Kansas many bridges like this get transferred to private ownership. Ironically, being transferred to private ownership has probably saved several bridges from demolition and replacement (looking at you Clarks Creek Whipple Truss).
Although these private bridges will eventually collapse, at least the transfer of ownership might buy them a few years or if were lucky a few decades.
The only downside to closure of course is a lack of maintenance. Yet, how many of these old iron bridges are really getting maintained?
Status on this one also does need to be changed to "closed"....bit of a rough road approaching from east, and impossible from west, large mound and cave-in as mentioned preventing any possible vehicle crossing, sketchy at best on foot or bike
Status does need to changed to "closed" - If you didn't know better you would head in that direction and look at the map and like to cross there, which is very much not possible with road closed on both ends
Hard to say if this one still exists. There's one thought, which says if it did, someone would have noticed it by now. Then again, it's extremely overgrown. I doubt it's any less than partially filled in if it does still exist however.
I've followed the remains of the line north and found a couple of locations I'll look at next time I get up that way. The part north of the fort was taken up between the '51 and '61 topos. The part in town probably lasted into the '80s since they built the Limit Street Bridge in '76. My guess is these were mostly timber pile trestles (like the Sevenmile Creek Bridge) although John's chart shows an old turntable somewhere in the city.
Meanwhile, Luke has added a presumed crossing under the track just east of this to carry the original Limit Street alignment. Much to explore.
I am glad to see this one still in use. It is a great bridge in a scenic spot. It is becoming increasingly significant every year.
Relocated trusses? Any leads on where they might have gone?
I was also surprised by the construction date of 1900. At that time, plate girders and deck plate girders were becoming viable options for railroad use. Thus, I think that it is awesome that we have some stone and brick arches in Leavenworth as opposed to plate girders.
I believe it is the exact same date. I agree about the disappointment, there were at least two dozen arches I figured would be mid-1880s that actually date to the late 1890s. Then again, itís also a really cool bridge and itís outlived most every other structure in the area. The difference between 1880 and 1900 in stone arches isnít huge, unlike trusses.
These bridge records do give an interesting look at bridges on the ATSF. There were some relocated trusses on the Topeka-Atchison line, and even an old turntable overpass in the area.
It's disappointing that this isn't 15-20 years older. I suppose this means the Ninemile Creek bridge is about the same age.
Going through these records, I'm guessing these were built as a mass replacement of trestle spans throughout the area. Almost all ATSF arches I see were built between 1895-1900.
That seems like such a late date for this bridge. I have to wonder if this was a rehab or default date.
Finding info on Ninemile Creek to the south would be nice.
Rickety and noisy planks indeed!! Our first visit today - amazing.
See bridge #19E on this ATSF Bridge Record Book.
Is there a source for the 1900 build date?
That is good to know. This is definitely a bridge that deserves to be preserved. As far as I am concerned any bridge with cruciform members is nationally significant.
Thanks for doing a field visit to this one. We would not have known about those cruciform outriggers had you not made the trek.
There is definitely some good stuff up there. Unfortunately, Nebraska did demolish one of its most significant bridge is back in 2001 when they destroyed the O Street Viaduct in Omaha. This was the last known remaining Whipple truss in Nebraska.
The state still has some very unusual bridges built by the King Iron Bridge Company. It also has quite a few Bowstring Bridges too. Unfortunately, I am not as familiar with Nebraska as I am with Kansas. I just haven't had the time to research Nebraska records or do aerial scanning. I have found quite a few Kansas Bridges thanks to Historic Aerials and Google Earth. In fact it was historical Aerials that led me to the abandoned Kansas River Bridge off of Rosencutter Road just south of Manhattan.
I am glad that you have been getting into North Central Kansas as well. There are still some great bridges up there as well with most of them being Pony trusses. As you know I was farther west in Norton County recently and there are some really awesome Pony trusses out there. They are small but they are also extremely unusual and rare.
hmmm....southeast NE might be next on the list, then!!
Good stuff, Robert - thanks. Believe if that cavern were filled in, it would still be good to go...solid for what it is
Nick, it is funny you mention Nebraska. I honestly think that Nebraska might be the most underrated state in the USA when it comes to historic bridges.
I have never lived in Nebraska, but I have driven through it many times. Thus, I have been able to visit a few historic bridges there. Nebraska has some nationally significant bridges, but many of them are in very rural areas that are not always easy to access. The southeastern part of the state seems to be the most truss-rich area of the state from what I can tell. Kansas just keeps us all so busy...
I cannot determine a builder for certain, but if I had to take a wild guess, I would lean towards the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Works. MVB used cruciform outriggers frequently (as did other companies in the 1870s and 1880s). But,the seem to have continued using them for several years afterward, perhaps as late as ca. 1900. On the other hand, King and WIBC used cruciform iron as well. There is at least one King iron truss in Marshall County.
My guess is that this particular bridge was built ca. 1880-1900. It could even be a late 1870s bridge. On the other hand, if MVB was responsible, it might be an 1890s bridge.
Now, let us look at those cruciform iron outriggers in detail...
Note that at least one of these outriggers has been bent. This clearly indicates one of the benefits of wrought iron. Wrought iron can bend without breaking. Had the bent outrigger been cast iron, it would have shattered, not bent.
One of the outriggers has been split - but perhaps a restoration could fix that. Bridges with cruciform outriggers (or cruciform iron in general) are rare today. This bridge has high significance despite its relatively small size.
Wait...a cast iron plaque still on the bridge - and in perfect condition?
Don't laugh too hard. Plaques are becoming much rarer on bridges these days. This bridge, plaque and all, is a great example of period technology. While 1930s riveted Warren pony truss bridges may not have the same significance as 1870s bowstrings, we should definitely preserve the good and unaltered examples. In my opinion, this one should be a prime candidate for preservation as a good example of its type.
This is a nice find. I think that there might be an iron brand on the top chord and endpost. Clearly it is pin-connected, but it might be wrought iron as well.
Based on the overall appearance, I would guess that this one was built sometime between 1880 and 1910, and very possibly between 1890 and 1900. It does not look like an 1870s bridge to me, but I doubt that it would be much newer than 1900 either. If I had to guess at one decade, I would say the 1890s are a reasonably safe bet.
The abutments are clearly newer than the bridge. Either they were replaced at sometime or the bridge was moved here.
Any pin-connected bridge has historic significance, and this one is no exception. It deserves preservation just as much as a large through truss from the same era.
I think that I see cruciform outriggers...
Yes....love this one. NOT OPEN to traffic whatsoever, can get to it only on closed road to east. Completely caving in/erosion thing happening on west side, gigantic gap, exposing entire abutment woodwork. Still standing, and straight, crossing is very precarious, especially exit on that crumbling west end. Would love to post video I took but still not understanding embedding method, last few youtube links I've tried have failed....help?
only 2 possible locations of this both filled in now as culverts
This one disappointing. Town of Odell, Nebraska 2 miles to the north more interesting.
Heavy duty old monster, nice plaque, some wood rot, holes in deck, scary, but IS open to traffic
Did not continue south on walk, other Unnamed C.B on same road listed for Nemaha may just be over hill to south but did not check, only access is from north end of B now
Nice Kingpost, very much NOT OPEN to traffic, can only access B Rd. now from north, road is cut off and closed. Couple interesting features on this. Looks like still used by nearby landowner.
It is good to see an updated photo on here. I have been hoping to get out to this bridge but I haven't had the opportunity as I'm no longer in the area.
There are some good Stone Arch Bridges is in the area but they're going to need maintenance at some point if they are to be preserved. We have lost a couple in neighboring Butler County in recent years due to collapse.
Here is a new photo of the Homer Creek Bridge I made on Friday, 24 Nov 2017.
I last drove over it in November of 2016. It was definitely a fun bridge to cross. With the steel grate it was definitely a white-knuckle ride.
Couple years back I was coming back from Manhattan via US24 when I got called to Topeka for a service call. The US75 crossing would've put me too far East of where i needed to go so I cut across the country side to I-70 via Willard and this bridge. Only time I ever drove over it, glad I got to least once before it's demise
And according to the link, one of only 3 known Seevers left standing in the U.S., one of only 2 still open, and it is the oldest of those. Excited.
Thank you Robert for all the research. Love the unique tapered elements of this one. And love that it is open to traffic still, albeit very light traffic, guess those work hand in hand here.....that plaque!! Wish it were still there - posted photo of it you shared with me from 1989.
Nemaha County used to have a massive number of pony trusses, but very few remain. I believe very strongly that this bridge will be demolished in the immediate future if nothing is done.
I have contacts at KSHS. Would anybody be interested in doing a NRHP Listing? We have to start somewhere!
This is one of the last three Seevers spans remaining. I hope Kansas preserves it.
I just added a KSHS PDF with photos for this bridge. It is a double span concrete bridge. Until someone pokes a selfie stick under the bridge, we won't be able to confirm for certain if it really is a Tee Beam of it it might be a Concrete Through Girder.
I have just edited the KSHS PDF. This new PDF contains additional photographs of the bridge - including one of the plaque.
I find it interesting but KDOT was considering some options with this bridge. A loss of this bridge really was a tragedy for historic preservation. This was an extremely significant bridge. Hopefully at least a few components such as to plaques and finials might have been preserved somewhere.
I have edited the KHRI listing for this bridge. My edits should be visible on the public side in a few days. Any insight about the unusual features on this bridge would be welcome.
Given the high rate of bridge demolitions in the area, this one should be considered to be at an extremely high risk for demolition. This would be most unfortunate, given the unusual design and the rare features of this bridge.
In the early 1980s, this bridge was not considered eligible for the NRHP, but I would strongly support the reversal of that decision. This bridge clearly has high significance.
Perhaps a crop not known to the landowners?
That's interesting Clark, thanks. Need to dig in my contacts and make those calls just in case - these guys I spoke with meant business, but also were quite helpful in the end.
Based on the Cherokee County GIS, this RoW from road access to road access is owned by the Ozark Regional Land Trust, https://orlt.org/protected-lands/
I haven't checked their policies on access but this is not locally owned land.
Another Bedstead with laced endposts and intact legs. To be honest, I had figured that this one was lost. The fact that it is extant is a bonus. This is another one that is well worth saving. I know we can't save every bridge out there but these bedsteads are not nearly as common as they used to be.
I see what you did there!
Nice lightweight bedstead with laced endposts and the Legs STILL intact! Could possibly be wrought iron as it is rare to see a steel one without amputations.
Gem of a find! ...Oh, wait JEWELL of a find!! ;-)
I agree with bedsteads! We had a crapload in Owen County, Indiana. Now there is only one. Go Nick!!
Nick has confirmed it! We have a Bedstead truss! These little bridges have gained a lot of historical significance in recent decades due to attrition. As far as I am concerned, all remaining bedsteads are nationally significant.
It looks like good kayak entry up at NE Lawton Rd.
Warning on this one, stopped on 90th street to the west and was looking out over acreage to about where I thought bridge was, was immediately approached by 2 men in a truck with guns on their laps, very protective of not only this private property, but the one to the east of it, a total of 2 properties that need to be traversed to reach bridge, guys were very nice and cooperative and even give me a few phone numbers to call to reach the spot. Will try again another day.
Visited today, it is private property and locals told me, as I could see at a distance, that this bridge was removed.
This is a very unusual Bedstead with multiple unusual features. I will try to update the KHRI when I get home. This one MUST be preserved at all costs!
I would be interested to know what the experts on here think about it.
Pretty dang interesting bedstead. Most definitely need input on understanding this one better, among the more unique features are the elongated-triangular verticals and diagonal connections, narrowing at the top, could not find another one in the archives quite like it, the bent loop connections underneath seem strange, several things.....bit of a rural spot yet remains open and seems solid, could have hung around with this old thing all day
Bridges like this are modern/non-historic. The railing is a standard crash-tested barrier used in a number of states. They are either going to be supported by pre-stressed concrete box beams, pre-stressed concrete girders (aka AASHTO girders), or steel stringers. Certainly nothing interesting under the bridge. Nick included this photo as evidence/confirmation that the historic truss bridge was demolished/replaced, not to imply that the replacement bridge is noteworthy.
A stringer built from recycled truss parts?
This one is so bizarre, I don't know where to start...
Endposts pinned to the substructure in an odd fashion, eyebars with oversized loops, bottom chord well below the deck...
It is an odd duck, but a very beautiful one! This one should receive a high priority for preservation.
This one was a shorty - road closed and bridge GONE.
Solid - still open, pretty spot
This does not look like original condition, but could be mistaken - short heighth steel throwing me off
This one has been removed. Imagine it was quite a thing with that elevation back when.
Un-interesting concrete thing. No longer unknown.
Got there at sundown. Beauty old bedstead, hanging on.
This one is CLOSED. Pretty queenpost off the beaten path.
This one has been replaced.
Love this one. 1896, plaque intact (mostly). Few unique features, good-looking curved abutment slowly decaying, rotting boards - just awesome, wish it someluck but odds against it's survival.
Cool closed pony. Interesting swinging hinged gate on wheels open the day I visited - possibly locals using for hunting access on ATV's or something. At least 2 more ponies very close in proximity.
very nice curved stone abutment on one end
This one is CLOSED. 2 different ponies very close in proximity (at least, may have missed a 3rd just west of this one), very similar in design.
Old original crumbling stone reinforcement wall/abutment underneath on one end.
Bedstead. Very nice. Seems particulatly tall vs. traditional bedsteads found in KS.
I photographed this bridge from the road and photographed the nearby creek in May 2004. I have marked up an aerial view (B&W) which I downloaded to illustrate the area. Rick.
I have always liked Smith County. Very rural with nice rolling hills. It appears to have a great collection of pony trusses as well!
Interesting, these would be the 1st photos ever posted of any bridge on the site, surviving or defunct, in Smith Co., KS. Not a well-traveled route. Very sleepy in fact. More to come - visited at least 5. Beaitiful country, awesome people.
Double. So incredibly remote.
Top o' the county's priority list, I'm sure....1) House-jack Limestone Creek Bridge back up ASAP
That'll buff out...
Bedstead !! Collapsing !! Noooooo.....should've been saved, long ago. Road and bridge very much closed, wouldn't be surprised if noone had checked in on this one in a loooooong time. Sad.
That Cottonwood tree was massive! It was also a very beautiful tree. I figured that it might have to be cut down one of these days. I was always a little bit worried about the roots of that tree trying to undermine the foundation and the wing walls of the bridge. Of course, the tree might have been dying as it was a very old tree.
The trunk of the tree was only a couple feet from the wing wall. The stairs by the bridge were wedged between the wing wall and the tree. This made for a nice photo opportunity.
Stone arch bridge built 1899 according to plaque.
Little sign on Rust Rd. is the only way I was aware of this one - very cool story - Apparently a gigantic tree that is written about on the plaque was cut down recently , very sad, must have been a behemoth
Solid pony, quick jog off HWY 24
Neat one. Got to see an engine and a short line of cars cross this one also.
It is always good to see this one! It will look great in Fort Scott!
We do have a similar pony here in my home county that was built in 1910... But yes Robert, I would agree that it could be a little older. I don't see 1880's but if I was to give a 10 year window I would guess 1898-1908.
Nice to see this bridge again.
This spot tough to get to, finally came across property owner that showed me spot where bridge was, and was removed, about 1990. Road cut off at highway decades ago.
This is another bridge for which I will question the Kansas Default Date of Circa 1910. I would suggest that 1910 is about the latest that this bridge could have been built. There is a reasonable chance that it could be pre 1900. It might even date back to the 1880s.
In truth, many of truss bridges can be repaired and maintained for lightweight vehicular traffic. If heavy farm equipment needs to get across the creek, the old bridge can always be reused somewhere else. These little pony trusses can be moved relatively easily.
Clearly there is a need for trail bridges based on the sheer number of MOBs that have been appearing in recent years.
aah....I'm sure there are some standard, modern-day safety features not being met by these old beauties also....no railings for dozens of feet, slowly-rotting planks, not sure honestly I'd want my kids driving across these, but certainly modifications can and have been made on similar antiques to keep them safe, open, and viable...I wish this was ALWAYS the first default...
Easy access. Great spot to stop and relax.
Nice find! This one could be rather old given the fact that it's pin connected and every panel is countered.
Given the nearly complete eradication of truss bridges in this region in recent years, I fully expect this bridge to get demolished and replaced within the next couple of years.
aaaaah....replaced. Concrete trumps iron again 😔
Solid old guy.
Loooong approach on this one, great old form pillars, gorgeous spot