There is an old stone pier to the south of this bridge. It can be clearly seen driving over this bridge. There are also walking trails along the creek that allow for a good view of the pier.
Courtney, Nice Shots thanks for sharing! Looks like another cool bridge where 6th Street Crosses Neosho river. BE CAREFULL on live Railroads!
Sure, Robert - sending now. Thanks
Do you have an e-mail address? Could you send me a P.M?
Thanks, John. I haven't had much chance to bridgehunt in that region. This design is almost non existent in Kansas, save for this example.
Guessing turn-of-the-century on this one.....any input? Would say in this case it needs to be taken down, just too far gone - potential danger for sure - don't know how many other kayaks traverse this stretch or folks troll down to fish here but seriously looks like any minute now it's coming down. Love some other thoughts on this one.
There are several examples of this type of bridge further north. The Chicago & North Western and Rock Island both loved this design.
Awesome! Local support for bridges is paramount. So many preservation success stories begin with grassroots efforts.
A friend just sent me this photo, the locals really like to decorate that thing up all different kinds of ways throughout the year, very cool
Wish all of our historic spans got this kind of Love!
You should see her when the neighbors deck her out for the holidays.........she is beautiful!!
This one is past-schedule to collapse. Very precarious - it's hard to see from the photos but there are crushed automobiles jammed underneath the bridge supports, have no idea how this was done. Leaning heavily all over, crumbling abutments, this one will not make it, guaranteed....wow what a sight....in with a kayak on a pretty day, worth the trouble.
This one has been altered a bit, but it is still a great pony truss. Nice find!
Well, that is too bad. Overall, Geary County has done a great job of preserving historic bridges. I would have liked to have seen this one.
Nice survivor - access could not be easier (eventhough we brought kayak on this trip for deeper, buried bridges) - this one is just a few feet off of Assyria Road, juststep out of your car and enjoy
This one has recently been replaced. Looks like a piece of the old pony decking sitting off to the side of the new bridge.
Bridge is no longer open, or existing- has recently been removed and replaced with slab. Sad.
Interesting abutments on this one....packed tight, and also, crumbling. Pretty spot.
What a great find! I would say that the Kansas Default Date of ca. 1910 is probably not far off in this instance.
I have found throughout my travels that locals often take great pride in their bridges.
Thanks, Nathan. I was very surprised when I first saw photographs of this bridge because I immediately thought of the New York example. I didn't recall seeing others like it, which made me think either a relocation job or a railroad standard design.
This is the most welcoming Old Bridge I have ever run into in the state of Kansas. As you approach you see a Stars and Stripes painted freight pallet that says "Laird's Creek Bridge". Atop both sides are fitted solar lights into a wood plank that fit into the iron perfectly, and toward one end of the bridge is a marker board that welcomes notes to be written which we did. An obviously beloved local bridge that beckons others to enjoy also. A very nice surprise.
That link did not paste right I think you meant this one: http://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=ne...
Boston Bridge Works was highly regional in operation... hugely prolific in New England, almost unheard-of elsewhere. At least considering surviving bridges.
Railroad bridges are, unlike highway bridges of the 19th Century, typically the design of the railroad, not of the builder. At least that's my experience.
This "platey" (fictional term) style of truss bridge that uses less "boxy" (fictional term) members seems to have been used by a number of railroads.
Compare this bridge with this one:
John? Nathan? Et.al? Thoughts?
Did a Boston Bridge Works product somehow find itself in the middle of Kansas? Was this a railroad standard design built by different companies?
I devised my theory before I realized that there were old limestone abutments under the newer concrete bents. These abutments might match the time period and spacing needed for this Bowstring. In this case, then perhaps this is the original location.
Another important note to bring up is that the property owner mentioned it was long known that the old limestone abutments that can be seen in the newest photo I just uploaded to the site were built out of limestone from the same quarry (Towanda limestone he said) that provided limestone for the original construction of the Topeka State Capitol, and at the same general time. So why would a bowstring Bridge be brought to this location later that most likely dates to the exact same time as those limestone abutments? I would surmise that this is the original bridge to that site but has just been altered severely. In addition it seemed clear that the property owner's thought was this is for sure the original bridge to the site.
KSHS officially considers this bridge to be NRHP Eligible. I have attached a KHRI PDF above.
Thanks for the input. I was leaning towards possibility #1. I still consider this to be a highly significant bridge despite its alterations and possible relocation years ago.
I have seen photographs of bowstrings that were altered much more drastically than this one...
This bridge is clearly a product of the WIBC due to the keystone columns, which I've never known to be used by any other company. I strongly agree that the bridge is highly altered. The outriggers are welded, and star iron appears to have been replaced with rods which do not fit in between the lower chord plates as well. Distortion of lower chord also evident.
Upon further review, this Bowstring does not seem to match other WIBC Bowstrings, save for the use of Keystone Columns on the top chord. There is no lacing on any of the verticals or outriggers.
There are three possibilities here:
1. The bridge has been heavily altered.
2. This bridge represents an unusual variation of the typical WIBC design.
3. The bridge was not built by the WIBC.
I am retaining the WIBC category for now, but will note "likely fabricator".
I still have a strong suspicion that this bridge was moved from some other location - even if the move happened a very long time ago.
Great work on tracking down the bridge and the landowner! This appears to be a Wrought Iron Bridge Co. product constructed with Keystone columns. I was expecting a King or perhaps a Missouri Valley, so this is a bit of a surprise.
Had an incredible experience with friends Kevin from Topeka and Chris from Lawrence, met up with property owner, heard some great history about this one. Property owner mentioned land surrounding the bridge has been owned by his family and the neighbor's for several decades, they remember improvements being done to it in the 1960s, and the story that the bridge was originally built to reach just one home, apparently a man with a lot of pull, the county commissioner named Hap Adams, the obvious 1960s improvements being the concrete pillars to save this beauty from collapsing ...a true ancient relic we admired for more than an hour.
It looks like YouTube has changed their embed code in such a way that it doesn't work on this site. It may take awhile to fix this.
We found this bridge, by taking a wrong turn. It appears as the new metal one beside it is only used by people who live near. It's more as residential area. The only thing traveling the old bridge is the grapevines.
I guess the webmaster will have to look into the video linking thing.
states that the bridge at ashland was built 1902.
several other bridge construction dates are included as well.
I did try the "add video" - error boxed me. I will keep at it. Thanks for the nice comment on my backyard junk sculpture - its one of several hundred actually....along with bridgehunting it's my other obsession
Fairman Lake was built in the '30s as a private reservoir, perhaps marketed as a fishing lake. The road and bridge were probably built at that time and may have been designed and built by a private contractor.
It would be interesting to see if there's evidence of how the deck was attached.
If your signed in as an editor to the site, there's an "add video" button above the photos section at the top. You can easily add your YouTube video.
Hey I found it and...
Nick's "World's Least Efficient Can Crusher" bowling ball rollercoaster.
That is a eventuality for sure - Kaw does run a different course now but the ground all through that area is very marshy, how amazing would it be to be standing there recording when the end of that bridge does finally decide to go?
I found the video online. Very interesting. I am glad that you mentioned the leaning lally column. I'm afraid that the southern span could become a three-legged bridge at some point.
Problems with simple cut and paste of my short YouTube video posting here (help with that?), if you'd like to see the clip, search " Kansas Bridge Hunt" on YouTube it should come right up
Yes, I was noticing the lacing on the main verticals and the batten-connected hip verticals. Although this bridge may in fact be post-1900, it does have some unusual features.
I am not certain which company built this bridge. It seems to me that there was still some experimentation going on in the Midwest even after 1900. You can see this on some of the non-standard bridges in the region. Ie, the Asylum Bridge, Onion Creek Bridge, Long Shoals Bridge, all of which are post-1900.
In addition, this region features those strange pony truss bridges that are constructed of paired angles. I have long suspected that the Wayland Bridge Company in Washington, Kansas may have been responsible for them.
Given the diversity of builders in the Midwest, it might not be so surprising that we see some unusual details on post-1900 bridges and even on post-1910 bridges on occasion.
Unusual lacing on the verticals of this one! And then the hip floorbeam hangers appear to be made from paired flat-rods or angles with battens. Rather odd.
What I would refer to as a Mongrel!
Well, based on the photos, this appears to be a very bizarre steel stringer. More specifically, a steel stringer with tiny outriggers...
Based on the overall appearance of this bridge, the date of 1902 in the link that I posted in an earlier comment, may in fact be accurate. This does look like a bridge that might have been built in the first decade of the 20th century. Thanks as always to Nick for tracking it down. The snow is a nice touch.
The bridge in the photo has masonry piers, but there also appears to be a pair of lally columns in the river directly south of St. Mary's. Any info/pictures of a St. Mary's bridge that sat on lallies?
ooooh this one....super-eery and giantly awesome - knocked on a property owner's door at the end of Rosencutter Road, got permission to head south and little west cross the tracks down the old deep rocky river bank to get to the old channel river bridge.... an absolute beauty, a fantastic experience, so glad to be made aware of it's existence from Robert's recent research.
Great walk down rail-to-trail from north to get to this old beauty today in the snow.
Easy hop out of the car in a cul-de-sac and a 20 yard walk across an open lot to this one. Odd entry up onto this - abutments seem ok but not solid, no attempt to block it off or keep people from tight-roping across it, but in the snow today, thought better. Ideas on what simple construction-type might have been?
I was under the impression that there was a Bowstring bridge over the Kansas River at St. Mary's. The Kansas River, I believe, may have changed courses since then so it might be a bit difficult to say exactly where the bridge was. I am glad to see a photo of it however.
The Kansas River has a history of changing courses even in relatively recent years. This is readily apparent at Manhattan where the Ashland vicinity Kansas River Bridge on Rosencutter Road (abandoned and private) is now on dry land.
Mandy, appears this is where bridge may have been. Maybe one of our RR Historians can identify RR.
Also check out a comment below from a possible relative with his email address.
Let us know what you find out.
I am not certain who owns the land to the south. I generally rely on county GIS maps to find ownership. Some counties provide more online resources than other counties, so this can be a bit of a hit or miss venture.
I traced my family back to here -- Nicolay family? I can't remember which of my family it was, Johann Jakob Nicolay or Jacob Ephraim Nicolay, but I've traced my family back to here and when they purchased the land. Is it still owned by the Nicolay family?
That makes sense. Perhaps this design was in fact originally designed to accommodate a pin, but then perhaps it became a standardized design and remained in use even after the railroad transitioned to using rivet connections. Plus, if by chance the railroad or fabricators had some left over portal bracing components leftover why not use them?
It could be possible that it was a standard design for the railroad, and the portals were used regardless of bridge design? I understand why you would believe it was for a pinned connection. I could see where it was a standard design...
Replacing the portal bracing for height clearance makes sense. I was just always under the impression that portal bracing gaps were designed to accommodate a pin.
The trusses along this line originally had the portal bracing similar to the Cloud County structure. I'm guessing it was replaced to increase the size capacity of trains on this line.
Well, never mind. This bridge has a portal bracing gap as well:
The portal bracing on this bridge is not flush with the top of the endpost. Instead, it curves inward leaving a gap between the portal bracing and the endpost. Often this is done to accommodate a pin. You can see this system very well here:
Yet, on this railroad bridge is riveted, not pin-connected. Thus, there is no pin that needs to be accommodated by a gap. Could parts of the portal bracing on this bridge have been recycled from a pin-connected bridge?
I personally have never seen a portal bracing gap on a riveted bridge. Has anybody else seen this? Some of you have looked at far more bridges than I have.
That is one gravity-defying plaque...
The news article listed above is still live. According to a county memo, the bridge hit the trifecta - fracture critical, functionally obsolete, and structurally deficient. The only crime that the bridge did not allegedly commit was "being of the same design as the I-35 W Bridge in Minneapolis". Of course, being a truss, and being painted green, it might have been convicted of this crime nonetheless.
Pure waste of taxpayers money with 40 ADT and another road 1/2 mile away!
This bridge had be a priority for replacement for several years. It has been demolished and replaced with a modern bridge.
That is interesting. An 1880s pin connected truss might be a rarity in Oklahoma, which is known more for its large and impressive 20th Century trusses. That being said, I have always suspected that the oldest truss bridges in Oklahoma would be on railroads.
Wes and Gene, are both of you still on here?
Message via John: Bridge was relocated from Oklahoma per landowner.
The old topo maps on Historic Aerials are a bit ambiguous...
Old railroad bridge?
I am guessing that just the girders may have recycled RR potential. Of course, the girders might have even come from some other application.
I suspect that the truss was probably built for vehicular use ca. 1890 - 1900.
Wow! Give this one an award for uniqueness! Do you guys think the truss is also railroad, or just the girder? So many weird details on this one!
Yeah, it's a bizarre one - old train bridge moved to this rural road location placed on top of those cement pillars? Weird. Nice high elevation off creek bed....doesn't really show in photos
In order to fulfill the prophecy of Anonymous, I am going to say it...WOW!
This one has been altered just a bit...
Nick's photograph from September of 2016 really shows how bad the flooding was that month. The Arkansas, Walnut, Ninnescah, and Whitewater Rivers saw some moderate to major flooding during that time. The Whitewater and Walnut Rivers alone flooded three times in 2016. These rivers still have a population of historic bridges so I always worry when they flood.
None of the flood waters from the Whitewater and Walnut Rivers passed under this bridge because the Walnut River joins the Arkansas River downstream of Ark City. Thus, the water seen here came down the Arkansas, Little Arkansas, and Ninnescah Rivers. These rivers have a smaller population of historic bridges than the Walnut and Whitewater Rivers, althought this closed spandrel bridge is certainly vulnerable, especially given its poor condition.
I was afraid that we were going to lose some bridges in this flood and in truth I suspect that we almost did. As far as I know, they all held fast until that final flood took out a stone arch bridge on Grouse Creek and damaged a couple others on the Grouse Creek farther downstream.
In short, 2016 was a scary year for bridges in South Central Kansas. I am thankful we did not lose more than one as far as I know. The Arkansas River is crossed by some incredible bridges in Oklahoma but as far as I know they all survived.
Saw this yesterday while driving around. Looks really cool.
We visited this bridge on 2/18/2017. Maybe I should say we attempted to visit it. It's gone. Not a piece left of it.
We visited this bridge on 2/18/2017. It is now closed.
When I saw photos of the plaque, I figured that the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Works built this one in accordance with a railroad company design. Generally speaking, MVB&IW would have otherwise used angled lattice portal bracing at this time.
John - followed regular street signs from the west and north all the way to the bridge, unless I missed something, it was at that point it became very obvious to step on or cross the bridge was private property.....did not meet folks on private side. Just so I'm understanding everyone read what was actually on the plaque - I posted 2 photos, one with effects, to make it easier to read "MO _____ BRIDGE & IRON WORKS, A. J. TULLOCK & CO. PROPRIETORS, LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS 1887
Were the landowners friendly and welcoming to the bridge? And I recognize the portals, looks quite a bit like Missouri Pacific trusses.
I think that we were posting at the same time. I made my first comment before Nick had uploaded a photograph of the plaque.
Maybe some people don't know, A. J. Tullock was a founder of that company. He died, and it reorganized into Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company in 1904.
It has a Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Works plaque on it. Nice, although sad the top part is broken. Very nice example of an 1880s railroad truss.
Okay, Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Works. This firm built quite a few bridges in Missouri and Kansas although they did venture as far as Texas. To the best of my knowledge, they never built any bridges east of the Mississippi. Thus, this bridge probably came from somewhere in the local region as opposed to being moved from somewhere like Ohio or Pennsylvania.
This bridge is also significant as having been built before the company changed its name to the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company.
Too bad the plaque is damaged, but at least most of it is still intact so we can get some important information off of it. Cast iron components can be very pretty but they are also prone to shattering.
This bridge has 7 panels, which is quite a few for a Pratt through truss that is supposedly only 100 feet long. In other words, the panels on this bridge are just over 14 feet long assuming that the span length is correct. These are rather short panels, although older Pratts from the 1870s may have much shorter panels yet.
Generally speaking, older Pratt trusses of roughly 100 feet have shorter panels than newer Pratt trusses of roughly 100 feet. The same concept applies at lengths of roughly 80', 120', etc. Of course there are numerous exceptions to this rule, but from my observations it seems to pan out more often than not. Otherwise, this looks like a bridge that might have been constructed Ca. 1900.
Kind of tricky getting to this one... have to enter from the south up the public road. Very pretty spot.... apart from the lumber missing looks very solid.
This one has been removed, visited today
This one is extant. Replaced by something with much less character.
Interesting bridge with unusual portal bracing and away bracing. Does anybody recognize these features?
Fairly obvious an old train bridge, 1887 in fact according to the plaque, would agree that it's most likely been moved to this spot as the private property on the east side shoots up a steep incline very close to the bridge. Very cool, very hearty.
Very nice, and possibly even pre - 1900. Ca. 1900 would be my guess.
currently dropped pin denotes this old unimpressive thing on east side of tracks, iron bridge 150 yards west of tracks on same straight E-W line
Approached from the east down old public 3300 Road, the current dropped pin is actually the location of a concrete arch little bridge, you need to cross the tracks and continue west to get to the correct bridge...reminds me of several 19th century light traffic bridges I've run into....a neat old thing with a lot of lumber left
It looks like the Austin Bridge to me. The postcard appears to show a large King Bowstring Bridge that largely follows their older design. If you visit the Austin Bridge today, you will notice that it lacks any lacing on the outriggers and verticals. The bridge in the postcard indicates that this Bowstring lacks lacing as well.
Bowstring in question? Circa 1906
Haha, yeah Robert - finding those so early in my bridgehunting adventures was insane - will keep at it and hope there are more gems out there to be discovered...dig my little 45 mpg bridge-finder Nissan but may need a 4wd to get at those rare birds in the future!!
Mystery bridges are fun, though. Once in a very great while, they even resurface..
Yeah, never let an accident get you down. Bridgehunting carries some risks, but when you suddenly find an 1878 King Whipple (or a Bedstead for that matter), it all becomes worth it.