Rating:
3 votes

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge

Photos 

General View Of West Side

Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #128671

Map 

Street View 

Description 

Google Earth Imagery suggests this bridge was replaced by a UCEB, most likely in the 1990's or late 1980's.

Facts 

Overview
Bowstring pony truss bridge over Rock Creek near Meriden
Location
Jefferson County, Kansas
Status
Replaced by a new bridge, but relocated and preserved
History
Built ca. 1880; Relocated in 1983 and again ca. 2020.
Builders
- Columbia Bridge Works of Dayton, Ohio
- D.H. & C.C. Morrison of Dayton, Ohio
Design
Bowstring pony truss
Dimensions
Span length: 53.3 ft.
Total length: 53.3 ft.
Deck width: 13.9 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.19740, -95.55235   (decimal degrees)
39°11'51" N, 95°33'08" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/279588/4341786 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Meriden
Land survey
T. 10 S., R. 17 E., Sec. 7
Inventory number
BH 38232 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 6, 2020: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • June 2, 2020: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Status. Bridge is Extant!
  • June 20, 2019: Updated by Art Suckewer: Changed builder based on characteristics
  • November 30, 2008: Oops, bridge should be in Kansas instead of Missouri
  • November 26, 2008: Added by James Baughn

Sources 

  • HAER KS-2 - Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
  • James Baughn - webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com
  • Zach Elliott
  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com
  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com

Comments 

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted July 7, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

To the best of my knowledge, Jim has not researched any bridges outside of the state of Indiana.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted July 7, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony, you may be right but, I'm not ready to concede yet. I suspect the pre 1983 (HAER documented) location is not its original home, given the abutments. As such, it could have started life with a different look and been rebuilt/altered when first moved, early in life.

The recent pictures provided by Robert and Nick really do raise questions about who built it. The cruciform members and shoes really don't seem CBW-like to me. There are other details that are of concern. That said, if the two smallest 'CBW' bowstrings are actually by CBW, then the design progression makes some sense.

Does Jim have any history on this one? If not, maybe Luke or Melissa can find something. I'd like to know if the top cord started life attached to a more traditional CBW bowstring structure.

Regards,

Art S.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 6, 2020, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nick:

Thanks for getting some great detail shots of this bridge. Your images will help us to evaluate it. This one seems to have some unusual design details and modifications. It is a strange, but very significant, little bridge.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 6, 2020, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Awesome job, Nick!! Great to see this old fellow getting the good end of the stick!

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 6, 2020, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Visited new permanent location of this one just north of Meriden, KS parked along HWY 4 at Meriden Engine and Thresher Association grounds, concrete pads poured in ground at 4 corners of bridge - posted lots of photos, many repeats of sorts from previous comment photos, one later-generation Carnegie logo found underneath on one of the thicker alternating I-beams, does seem parts added/subtracted from this one way back....glad its re-surfaced, one of the oldest extant bridges in KS

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 3, 2020, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

I will run up to Meriden next few days and post more detailed photos - not a terrible drive from our place

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 2, 2020, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge has attributes that I would expect on a CBW (very early example of a rolled member for a top chord), and a MVB&I (lots of cruciform members).

Although the HAER made no mention of CBW, I do know that CBW built at least one bridge in Jefferson County. Thus, a CBW would not be out of the question. My suspicion however is that MVB&I experimented with respect to the top chord.

NOTE: MVB&I might have also used early examples of rolled members on this bridge:

https://bridgehunter.com/ks/atchison/31011503580/

I am starting to suspect that MVB&I was forward thinking in using rolled members while still holding on to cruciform iron. These are two types of members that I would not otherwise expect to see together.

Either way, this is a highly significant bridge (even by bowstring standards), and I am glad that it has resurfaced.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 2, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Well aren't those unique and yet rather bizarre!

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 2, 2020, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

In addition to cruciform outriggers, this bridge also has cruciform inriggers. At four of the verticals, we have a triplet of cruciform members - one outrigger, one inrigger, and one vertical.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 2, 2020, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge is not as lost as you think. It was just hiding behind a barn...

https://khri.kansasgis.org/index.cfm?in=087-0000-00269

The bridge had been relocated to the grounds of the Meriden Antique Engines and Threshers Association. It has recently been moved to a more visible location next to K-4 Highway.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 24, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nathan,

This is why I have started poking at the rolled arch bowstrings. Morrison seemed to follow Whipple's original concept with the segmented straight line sectioned bow; using rolled members instead of Whipple's cast ones. As far as I can tell, this is unique to Morrison.

This bridge's connections seem to match those of Mallaham http://bridgehunter.com/oh/putnam/6932509/ which is of unquestioned provenance.

Morrison did not seem to favor cruciform or star iron members whereas Missouri and King did.

My interpretation of HAER is this one is likely a CBW erected in April/May 1871 with Miller and Jameson and Company either erecting the 'kit' or acting as agent.

Also, this is the only early bridge attributed to Missouri Valley without a built up top chord. HAER refers to plans for a bridge over "Hooers Creek in Jefferson county" that I have not seen but it seems to imply the difference being the angles at the panel points (continuous arch on the 'Hooers Creek' design?).

What I still don't know is which companies made continuous arch (not segmented like this one and Mallahan) rolled (not built up) member bowstrings such Melock Hill http://bridgehunter.com/in/switzerland/melock-hill/ and Siloam Springs http://bridgehunter.com/il/adams/bh53514/ as there are just as many attributed to King as CBW and even more that are unattributed.

Regards,

Art S.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 24, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Also note this is a HAER documented bridge and they did substantial research and did not uncover a connection to Columbia.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 21, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

He would likely tell you the same thing I did.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 20, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony,

So are you going to pester Jim with a call for his opinion or shall I :^)

Regards,

Art S.

PS. I think it matches to Morrison patent.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 20, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Given the top chord alone I would be inclined to think that as well Art. It doesn't match the 2 surviving examples from MVB&I, but they were building bridges in the early 1870's and could have certainly had an earlier design for a bowstring.

Indiana bridge historian Jim Cooper (An amazing researcher of county records) taught me it is best not to note a builder unless you have proof. In this case I would rather see it left blank than be documented incorrectly.

Meriden Rock Creek Bridge
Posted June 20, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

I'm almost certain that this is Columbia Bridge Works not Missouri Valley.

Thoughts?

Art S.