This bridge was demolished today. 2018 has gotten off to a terrible start for bridge preservation in Kansas.
Pardon the dangling modifier in my previous comment.
P.E. Lane built a few pony trusses in Coffey County. I would not rule them out as a potential builder of the smaller pony truss.
According to that catalogue, P.E. Lane built at least three bridges in Barton County with span lengths of 90, 100, and 120 feet. This might be the 120 foot span, if P.E. Lane rounded up a bit.
Interesting situation. It appears the abutments must be leaning in causing the bottom chord to go into compression. On a two panel bridge like this, a truss analysis would show that the bottom chords carry zero load anyway. All of the "tension" load is carried by the truss end diagonals. You can also see the counter diagonal rod sagging from compression like the bottom chord.
Nathan has a link to a P.E. Lane catalogue. You can find it here:
thanks Clark, makes way more sense for the existence of this bridge - camped in park that night, woke to several truckloads of hunters and their dogs out early for uuh...whatever hunting season this is, not a hunter...
yes, bottom chord not only not under tension, but drooping pretty drastically on both sides, the drive over to do a U-turn and drive back over again were a bit of a life-gamble....not sure how many more drive-overs this thing has left in it
Road was there on the 1979 map but lake was not.
Unusual to place a pony on laced columns. I wonder what the connection is like.
The lower chord seems not to be under tension. I wonder how much everything shifts when under load.
Those bizarre features you have discovered are known as laced top chords and laced bottom chords. These are extremely rare features today.
Some bridges have laced endposts as well. This bridge has laced endposts a lace top cord and a laced bottom cord. As far as lacing is concerned it hits the trifecta. That makes this bridge very unusual.
remnants of this removed bridge sitting in ice today.....bet it was cool back when
also, not sure I've seen that laced "running board" and top horizontal before....this one seems unique
this is one wanky, dilapidated old beat-up bedstead-type, basically at the end of a dead-end road before it turns to private property, I imagine it is rarely used at all anymore, I took a short video clip jumping up and down on the deck and gently pushing on the iron, I had to stop it was shaking so badly - would have to say on the new scale, this one would definitely qualify with a "poor" rating
very easy access to this one
This one perfectly camouflaged in the Fall forest, neat old P.E. Lane, deck has not been removed, but rotting and crumbling, both plaques gone, would love to see one turn up in a local historical museum or something - a pleasure to be in this one's presence, very happy it's still extant
Great old bedstead, pretty solid, one of the few I've run into that I couldn't vibrate at all with a good push, fun homemade sign by a local bridge-appreciator
This one is great, incredible abutments, love the old Brock Bridge signs also
Love to know the back story on this old thing....couldnt have been built just for the little loop in this county park? Guessing it pre-dates and was on an alignment of some extinct county road....
Thanks for the new photos. This bridge is obviously in rough condition.
In 2016 there were a couple of major floods on the Whitewater River. This creek, whatever you want to call it, is one of the tributaries of the Whitewater. I would not be surprised if it has seen some bad flooding in the last couple years.
The creek has many fallen limbs and a tree trunk caught on the east side of the arch bridge as of 17 Feb 2018. I photographed it today.
Some or all of these photos appear to be from the Neosho Rapids bridge just to its east (http://bridgehunter.com/ks/lyon/bh36250/). This bridge does not have the approaches that many photos show.
Only if they require federal permit (Army Corps for example) or are federally funded (very rare that taxpayer dollars fund private for-profit corporations, but this DOES happen sometimes). Many railroad bridges avoid Section 106.
If the bridges are NRHP eligible, would that trigger Section 106 and subject the bridge to KSHS review?
Reading about these bridges, they are eligible for NR listings in Kansas due to the truss design. Thereís only a handful of railroad trusses left in the state (okay, a decent amount), but relocating or reusing even a few of these would be a major win. Fortunately, if nobody wants these, there are still a number of identical spans in the area that would give more of a chance to market the spans.
What I am deducing from your comment is that the current bridges would not be demolished before the new bridges are complete. If that is true, that could buy us a few weeks (or months) to find a buyer.
I have already e-amailed one of my contacts.
I was unaware that these bridges were NRHP eligible.
What I've seen on other structures of this magnitude is they slide it onto temporary piers and demolish it there. A news article reports that there is a 32 hour window to switch out both bridges. Considering the new bridges are different in length (and by quite a bit), a parallel bridge could be constructed as well.
If you find someone whos a willing buyer, I'm sure we could put some heat on BNSF to give the spans away. Since both these are also eligible for the NRHP, there could be additional funds available. Not sure if there are still gaps where the trail crosses major roads, but a configuration like this could create some interest in the trail:
If the 1890s railroad bridge near Augusta could fill that gap, that would be great. Thanks for letting me know that it could be scheduled for replacement.
As for this bridge, do you know if the railroad plans do to a crane lift or use a cutting torch? If they plan to crane lift it, could it be set aside temporarily while a new owner can be found?
Unfortunately, itís almost certainly too late for these structures. Articles Iíve found online suggest work could begin in March. What Iím finding interesting is how the new spans are gonna be bigger. This almost certainly is to relieve flooding.
If you found someone who wanted a big railroad bridge, especially near Augusta; a span like this almost certainly would work. The only thing that would bother me about that location is how the old bridge was so easily undercut. Stream conditions probably arenít ideal there and a adjusted alignment would be needed.
In my opinion, a bridge like this or Quenemo wouldnít be a good fit for that location. If they wanted to use a historic railroad truss at that location, the best option would probably be an older and smaller structure. One that immediately rings a bell is that odd 1890s truss near Augusta. Almost certainly to be replaced in the next 10 years, that structure appeared to be in really good condition, despite clearance issues for the railroad. If you come across someone interested in doing better than a prefabricated pedestrian bridge, send them my way and I would be more than willing to talk to the railroad.
This sounds great. Are you hoping to discuss this with the railroad? I can always check with local connections. Because you have worked with the railroad so much, I don't want to step on your toes in that aspect of the project.
There are several rail trails being built in the area, and I know that they occasionally need bridges. A classic example of course can be found at Augusta where the Whitewater River undermined an old railroad bridge leaving a gap where the trail needs to go. Of course, there are rail trails that are much closer to this bridge.
So, in short, I think it's probably best for you to be the man who talks with the railroad. I can check with some local contacts and see what ideas they might have. This is a very heavily built truss, so it's not like it can't carry pedestrians golf carts, vehicles and most types of farm equipment.
I can see what will inevitably happen to this line. I'm sure BNSF wants these trusses gone, as they are a slight inconvenience. Fortunately, BNSF is more often than not willing to give away these historic trusses. However, a truss that size isn't going to fit well into a city square park. Best thing for it would to be relocated to farm use, as it should be durable and have years of life left. Also tough though, because of the clearance restriction.
It would be nice to see a group form and take charge of restoring and relocating historic railroad bridges. Lot of gems that are inevitably in trouble.
Well, that is a shame.
John, you seem to have a lot of good contacts of various railroad companies. If anybody could convince a railroad company to sell the bridge to someone who wants to preserve it then you would be the man!
Of the two bridges that are scheduled for replacement thus far, this one is the most significant. It has a rather unusual Camelback profile.
Who wants to save a bridge?
Gonna be replaced this year
Gonna be replaced this year:
Interestingly enough, this bridge has been rated fair instead of poor. This is quite surprising given some of the media reports and the fact that road salt was causing severe deterioration on the bridge.
At first I thought that this bridge might be the same one that just appeared on the Facebook page. It is a very similar design if not identical.
Then I realized this one has no deck. Thus, we now have two of these bridges in Jefferson County. I really want to know where the other one is.
I still think that there's a chance that these two bridges could date back to the 1870s because they are so lightweight, they have cruciform outriggers, and they have those cloven hip verticals. (That is my term, not an official term).
It would be awesome if Jefferson County had three 1870s truss bridges including the bowstring in Oskaloosa. I can't say for certain that these two bridges date back to the 1870s but they certainly look very old to me.
Now that my schedule has gotten a bit less busy, perhaps I can get back to trying to save some bridges.
2nd visit today - Permission from property owner to go up high and get views from above, loving this thing more all the time, fantastic find from Robert Elder via satellite
After additional reading on this site, I believe the stone pier visible on the southeast side as you cross this bridge is the pier from the previous three-span bowstring that was relocated to three different crossings. The only surviving span is now located in Topeka.
Good find on that bridge in Muscatine Iowa. It is very similar to this one save for the lack of outriggers and the horizontal member.
Then there is this 5 span example in Ellis County, Kansas:
With a Jack Arch deck to boot!
Hancock County Illinois seems to have some examples as well:
I found one in Iowa a few months ago: https://bridgehunter.com/ia/muscatine/bh79331/
Robert is correct. These are not homemade bridges. They were as I understand lightweight bridges marketed to local governments (not sure what company or companies) as low-cost alternatives to traditional truss forms. Some of them even had built-in plates with holes for use by a crane or whatever type of equipment was used to hoist the bridge. They are mostly located in Missouri and Kansas, but we have a single example in Michigan. I believe the horizontal member is a "railing" in the most basic sense. It may stiffen the members slightly too. This was basically a "budget bridge."
Bedstead trusses in general are becoming uncommon these days. Double intersectional Warren bedstead trusses are downright rare. This is a highly significant bridge due to its unusual design.
It also has that strange horizontal member running through the middle of the Truss. A small number of pony trusses in Kansas have this member.
This bridge is reminiscent of similar paired angle bridges in Kansas and Missouri. I have long suspected that the Wayland Bridge Company of Washington, Kansas built these odd structures but I don't know that for certain.
These paired angle bridges seem to come in a variety of designs including Camelback, Queenpost, and others.
I have a photo of the arch bridge at Burnt Creek to share.
haha....yeah Clark, pretty dang funky
3rd visit solved this - approached again from west side found previously photographed and posted tributary little cement bridge, noticed road heading east Virtually disappears so went around to east side to try to approach going west, went down road a ways until it was closed close to unique bedstead-type pony with outriggers, CLOSED to all traffic, collapsing on southwest side, love the design, have only seen possibly 1 or 2 more this type ever.
Possible favorite "young pony" I've ever seen....popular fishing spot Saturday over feeder waters into LaCygne Lake
Other news sources seem to indicate that only the westbound span will be demolished in March. I have been very busy lately and I have not had any chance to really focus on bridges for a while.
According to this news article, it sounds like this bridge along with the Lewis and Clark viaduct will be demolished in March.
The Westbound lanes have been closed as of today, 2/2/2018 for a 2.5 year projected project length.
Bridge is scheduled to be replaced this year (2018).
Sorry--last paragraph refers to the Blue River crossing. As far as I know the Tomahawk creek crossing wasn't realigned and there are no traces of the older truss bridge.
The Jefferson Highway is marked as passing through Lee's Summit at some period in its history.
Thanks for the updated information. From what I have researched the original military post road made a crossing at the Blue River before heading south towards the Louisburg area. Old Metcalfe Ave was part of the original Jefferson Highway and from what I understand this highway was very close if not part of the original military highway. I was not aware of the stone pillars at 135th and Tomahawk creek. Are they visible from that intersection and have you seen them?
Once the weather get's warmer my son and I are going to hike some areas near the Blue River along the Old Metcalf Place bridge and see what we can find.
Photo credit Robyn Hill on the antique cars.
Bit premature on my doomsday date for this bridge, happening this week apparently, some fun photos of antique car owners this week enjoying it for the last time.
Bolted and welded angles. Probably a local field design.
Holiday 2017-18 photos added on visit 1/26/18
Unique. Mostly weird.
This one tons of character, with rotting planks and all, and say hi to cattle just few feet away
Visited yesterday....this one in fact replaced....bummer
This one easily accessible through Council Grove High School parking lot, very welcoming, plaque on north-facing exterior states American Bridge Company product though the year looks possibly 1914 or 1917, hard to read, unlike the other bridges on the Flint Hills rail-to-trail which in this area were all built 1930.
Another rail-to-trail being worked on currently here in Jan. 2018, this one obviously needs some safety updates for pedestrians, this bridge built 1930 by American Bridge Co. out of NY.
Very similar design all of these Council Grove-area Flint Hills rail-to-trail bridges, all except for possibly Neosho R.B. in downtown were built 1930 according to all existing plaques on these bridges, and all except this one built by American Bridge Co. out of New York...this one is a Stupp Bros. product out of St. Louis. Beautiful area, would be a neat looooong hike to see all of these.
American Bridge Co. out of NY.
Absolute monster, built 1930, several hundred feet long, like all other Flint Hills rail-to-trail bridges as of Jan. 2018, crews are driving large trucks on trail and maintaining, repairing, and new construction going on, trail still seems to be open during this process... on this one in particular, new material being laid down and compacted for pedestrians, and new welded railings going up. Gigantic cement pillars - bit overwhelming, pictures can't capture it all
Was hoping for more out of this one.
The Fort Leavenworth-Fort Gibson Road followed a number of alignments, not well mapped or recorded from what I can find. As I have heard over the years, US 69 ran roughly along the route of the old Military Road but often along improved alignments, making use of improved road building technology.
Some 30-40 years ago they did some road work near the now replaced truss carrying old US 69 (Metcalf Place) over Tomahawk Creek north of 135th Street. Beneath the two lane concrete pavement they found brick pavement that supposedly had once carried the military road.
The stone piers to the west of this bridge carried something but what it was called during the time the bridge existed is not easily found.
Does anyone know if the "Original Military Post Road" crossed at this location at the Blue River? Any information would be helpful, thank you.
This bridge has been demolished.
Did not see collection of trusses in a field you spoke of on our 2nd visit today, but will keep looking... bridge now chained off w/ NO TRESPASSING signs on bridge, also some planks missing/rotted away
Ugh. Visiting the annual Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival on the site of this bridge for over 25 years... it is currently being dismantled starting this past week. Sad. http://www.newscow.net/2018/01/18/work-replace-14th-ave-brid...
There is no bridge at this pinned location.
The places with the extra holes seem to have bolts and some welding. It looks like this truss was rebuilt and got a "C" channel welded along the end posts and top chord.
I see it now! It has been sitting there for a few months.
Google Earth shows the bridge sitting near the new bridge.
Interestingly, the top chords on this bridge have a bunch of unused rivet holes. Perhaps there was some recycling/modifications going on during the construction or rehabilitation of this bridge.
This bridge might not be as lost as we think...
A photograph of a bridge in the area (Pratt-Warren Hybrid identical to this one) has appeared in a Facebook group (sorry, closed group, can't share). The photograph appears to be depicting this bridge sitting on dry land. I don't know the exact location for the dry land bridge other than that it is supposed to be in Menoken Township.
This is/was/still is an unusual bridge despite the fact that it was built ca. 1930 when truss bridges were largely standardized. It is worth of preservation if it does in fact still exist somewhere.
I agree that the entries should be split. And the date is 1872, replacing a ferry that ran from 1866 until then.
Haven't found anything in Google Books about a contractor yet, but at least it gives us the info that the bowstring was the first bridge at the location.
I think the bowstring should be a separate entry from the marsh arch.
Wait....think it says bowstring built 1872 or 1873...wow...new photo found and posted of 1903 floodwaters up to decking
For some reason just now realizing that I have posted photos of 2 different bridges most likely in the same spot in Wamego over the decades, the earlier 1 being the multi span bowstring bridge (b. 1878 I believe caption in photo of office photo), then also photos of the replacement which became a multi span Marsh arch (b. 1929), apologies for mix up... possible new listing needed for original bowstring bridge?
I suspect that this bridge is actually a concrete through girder not a tee beam. The railings on this bridge are extremely thick which makes me suspect they function as girders. Again, one has to look underneath. I have not had the opportunity to do this.
Hi Dana and Kay:
Yes, Butler County has some very old concrete bridges. Honestly, I wish I had inspected them closer when I lived in the area. At that time I was still trying to chase down all the trusses and Marsh arches.
I think that Nick was hoping to visit some of these old concrete Bridges especially that large group of them over the various little branches of the Whitewater River.
The key to evaluating these old bridges is going to be looking underneath. With some of these little bridges, the easiest way might be to use a cell phone with a selfie stick. Of course, if anybody has a pair of Wellies they can wade into the muck with an SLR.
Robert Butler County does appear to have a few OLD concrete in well maintained shape. Curious what is underneath NBI lists as Stringer. Similar listed as culverts.
This bridge has been closed to traffic. The Butler County Government did a very interesting write-up on their Facebook page about this bridge. I have high confidence that it's going to be preserved, whether or not it reopens to traffic someday. Butler County seems to do a very good job of retaining its historic bridges.
I believe the Butler County has five 1880s wrought iron bridges with one of them being on private property. The county also has a noteworthy collection of stone arch bridges and concrete through girder bridges.
They look like concrete encased legs. A common alteration based on some visits to bedsteads I did a while ago. You should see a bearing plate on top of concrete if it was a "false" bedstead, ie a pony truss with vertical end posts.
This one is truly a bonus. It might be the last remaining truss bridge in Russell County. Thus, it has high local significance.
It definitely looks like a recycled railroad bridge to me. Very interesting.
Yes, another Bedstead Warren. This is a great find.
This is an interesting little bridge. It appears to be one of the region's paired angle bridges. It also features those unusual inriggers that are found in the area on occasion.
A weirdy. Ran into this by accident, reminds me of one I tracked down in Cowley County last year.....https://bridgehunter.com/ks/cowley/180881306740/
Located spot where bridge was, now a low-water crossing
Lost about a dozen photos of this one somehow on my phone, just saved the one. Neat old closed pony.
This one is closed. Nice height on this old pony, rotting deck, nice reinforced abutments, hanging on.
This one has been replaced.
Long queenpost, still open road and bridge. Rusty beaut.
Possibly another Warren Bedstead.