4 votes

Little Arkansas River Bridge


West Approach

Photo taken by David Backlin in July 2011


BH Photo #203773


Street View 

The Decision to add a Tee Beam 

Written by Robert Elder

There are four general types of bridges that I have not been adding to this website. These are Tee Beams, Plate/Deck Plate/Concrete Through girders, slabs, and stringers. Several factors have lead to this discrimination.

First, many of these bridges were built after 1939, thus they are less than 70 years old.

Second, most of my work has been based in my home state of Kansas. Because of the high number of older designs used in Kansas such as trusses, rainbow arches, and deck arches (stone, closed-spandrel, and open-spandrel), it has been a big time commitment to document and research these bridges which are usually more than 70 years old.

Third, those older designs have been more prone to demolition, so there is generally more time to document tee beams, girders, slabs, and stringers because most of the time they are not in immediate danger.

Fourth, because these four newer designs are still being built, I have generally considered them to actually be common technology.

I made the decision to import this tee beam from the NBI due to its construction date of 1925 which makes it an early example of this technology. Any feedback on this decision would be welcome.


Concrete tee beam bridge over Little Arkansas River on SW 36th St (CR 576)
Harvey County, Kansas
Open to traffic
Built 1925
Concrete tee beam
Length of largest span: 42.0 ft.
Total length: 264.1 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.99944, -97.49083   (decimal degrees)
37°59'58" N, 97°29'27" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/632505/4206827 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2006)
Inventory numbers
KS 000400803405760 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 43952 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 33.9 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


Beam (16,243)
Built 1925 (1,291)
Built during 1920s (10,086)
Concrete tee beam (3,222)
Harvey County, Kansas (47)
Have street view (27,721)
Kansas (3,240)
Open (40,262)
Owned by county (21,234)
Span length 25-50 feet (15,926)
Structurally deficient (13,474)
Total length 250-500 feet (5,354)

Update Log 

  • July 8, 2011: New photos from David Backlin
  • April 2, 2010: Essay added by Robert Elder
  • January 29, 2010: Added by Robert Elder


  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • David Backlin - us71 [at] cox [dot] net


Little Arkansas River Bridge
Posted October 30, 2012, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Coming into Halstead on the Halstead/Moundridge road, there was a bridge just like this crossing the Little Arkansas River. It was demolished and replaced at about the beginning of the year 2000. I remember crossing it when riding into Halstead before the replacement.

Little Arkansas River Bridge
Posted April 2, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I agree with adding this bridge to the listings, along with the logic described above, after all its similar to how I prioritize what bridges I document. I would argue that concrete through girders tend to be older than 1939 and are relatively rare, unless Kansas has a bunch of them.

The key in my view is to focus on a combination on historic significance and risk of demolition.

This particular t-beam is an example of decent size and its historic integrity appears to be good.