Rating:
18 votes

Cottonwood River-Quail Creek Road Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Nick Schmiedeler in April 2017

Enlarge

BH Photo #385109

Map 

Street View 

Description 

Still standing as per the most recent satellite imagery.

This bridge appears to be on private property. As a courtesy to the landowner, please do not visit without permission. Landowner information will not be disseminated through this website.

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned through truss bridge over Cottonwood River on former Quail Creek Road
Location
Marion County, Kansas
Status
Abandoned with deck removed
Design
7 panel Pratt through truss. May have a pony truss on the north approach.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.35139, -97.05854   (decimal degrees)
38°21'05" N, 97°03'31" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/669645/4246587 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Marion
Inventory number
BH 45809 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

Abandoned (3,056)
Cottonwood River (Kansas) (28)
Have street view (22,590)
Kansas (2,731)
Marion County, Kansas (83)
Pratt through truss (4,625)
Pratt truss (8,071)
Through truss (12,952)
Truss (29,557)

Update Log 

  • April 2, 2017: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • December 26, 2016: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Design Description
  • December 27, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added to Cottonwood River (Kansas) Category.
  • December 27, 2010: Updated by Anthony Dillon: appears to be extant in Bing image
  • August 28, 2010: New Street View added by Sheldon
  • August 5, 2010: Added by Sheldon

Sources 

  • Sheldon Wiens
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com

Comments 

Cottonwood River-Quail Creek Road Bridge
Posted May 25, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nathan:

Thanks for the reply. I had been suspecting that those lower cord eyebars might be continuous through the hip vertical area. This bridge seems to have a few unusual features which is one reason why I'm hoping to research it when I get a chance. I'm afraid that this one might be in danger of collapse.

Cottonwood River-Quail Creek Road Bridge
Posted May 25, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Some builders ran the bottom chord continuous over the end two panels (meaning the end eyebars are two panels long) and it looks like this is the case here, thus what you see is a guide, the bottom chord eyebar is not physically connected to anything at this panel point.

Cottonwood River-Quail Creek Road Bridge
Posted May 25, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Am I seeing things, or do the hip verticals on this bridge connect to the lower chord via a peculiar bracket?

Cottonwood River-Quail Creek Road Bridge
Posted April 3, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Well, if those northern lally columns give way, both spans are going into the river. I am pretty certain that this exactly how we lost both spans of the Columbia Bridge in Franklin Co. I am still kicking myself for not being proactive on that one.

http://bridgehunter.com/ks/franklin/bh36236/

Cottonwood River-Quail Creek Road Bridge
Posted April 2, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This one may have a few non standardized details. Look at the hip vertical - lower chord connection. It looks like there may be an unusual bracket of some sort on the top side of the lower chord. It is a bit hard to tell on my mobile device.

The hip verticals themselves are very lightweight.

I am still thinking 1880 - 1900. Does anyone think it is older? Newer? Any guesses concerning the builder?

Cottonwood River-Quail Creek Road Bridge
Posted April 2, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Well, first let me fulfill the prophecy of Anonymous...WOW!

Okay, that said, this is a fascinating bridge. It has some of the simplest portal bracing I have ever seen, although I have seen other bridges with roughly the same type.

In addition, the Queenpost pony has outriggers. I cannot tell for sure on my mobile device, but I they might be cruciform outriggers. If so, this could indicate a very old span.

This one could certainly date to the 1880s or 1890s. I suspect that it is pre - 1900 given its lightweight construction, short panels, uncommon portal bracing, and potential cruciform outriggers.

This is another one that merits a high priority for restoration. Nobody wins when a bridge collapses. When a bridge hits the water, it can be a devastating loss of history. It also makes for an expensive environmental cleanup. Now compare that mess with a beautifully restored truss. Which do you prefer? A good outcome is worth striving for.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 2, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This sucker is up there!

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 2, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler

Thar she blows!! Don't mean to get wordy (tend to do that) but this might not have happened at all if not for the sweet, elderly property owner driving down the driveway as I approached from the road - turns out the large south-river-side property is owned by at least two families, maybe even more, several houses on the large river-front piece of land, woman I spoke to was very welcoming and proud to show it off, a true stilt-standing survivor, not sure if it's apparent in the photos but the north side is starting to lean heavily to the east, columns collapsing in mud - fun experience, very cool bridge!!

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted March 31, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

On the seat of my chair, waiting to see what this turns out to be. I don't know that anything will ever top your 1878 Whipple truss but this one has the potential to be very old based on the lightweight construction and short panels.

Slainte mhath!

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted March 31, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler

May try both the Marion Co. anomalies this weekend - along with any of the 30-40 others I have mapped out over my 3-day weekend. Look for updates and 1st-time photos of many KS bridges (I'm hoping) over the next few days.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted February 2, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am sure that one of us will make it here in good time if we can get landowner permission. If Nick or Sheldon beat me to it, more power to them.

I did update the KHRI listing for the Bellefontaine Bridge a few miles downstream from this one. I mentioned that it is the only known Bellefontaine product West of the Mississippi River.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted February 2, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I haven't noticed anything from the lad in same time now.

I do wish our roving Kansas Bridgehunter would make it out to this one soon... Dying to know what we have here! Like yourself Robert, I suspect we have a thru and pony here.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted February 2, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

By the way, has anybody heard from Sheldon lately? I have not seen him on here for a while. I hope that he is still chasing bridges. We would have not known about this one if he had not added it.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted December 26, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I did not get a chance to ask permission to visit this bridge on my last trip to Kansas, even though it has been on my bucket list ever since Sheldon discovered it.

The main span appears to be only about 100 feet long, yet it has 7 panels. In other words, the panels are only about 14 feet in length. Generally speaking, with Pratt through trusses, short panels such as these often indicate an older truss. Granted, this is not a hard and fast rule, but most post - 1900 Pratt through trusses have panels that are longer than 14 feet. Given the lightweight construction of this particular span, an 1890s, or even 1880s bridge is not out of the question. This may turn out to be a basic garden variety Pratt with A - frame portal bracing, but on the other hand, it might be a rather old and rare one with interesting portal bracing.

I still think that there might be a Queenpost pony on the north end.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted July 27, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Google Maps has some relatively new imagery taken in the Winter. This appears to be a very lightweight 7 panel Pratt through truss. It may even be pre- 1900 and possibly wrought iron, but only a field check and/or record search will tell us for certain.

There may be a pony truss at the North end, or we may just have Queenpost - like shadows. I cannot tell for certain.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted May 4, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The county road map from 2007 shows the roads still under control of the county from both directions although the bridge doesn't show. I think with a copy of the map, a polite manner (and perhaps a hunter orange vest with a hard hat), a person could walk the roadway without anyone having a reason to hassle them.

http://www.ksdot.org/burtransplan/maps/county-pdf/marion.PDF

Remember the tick repellant!

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 26, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yes, if I still lived in Kansas, it would be nice to photograph that bridge. I am curious if it is the same as the Doyle Creek Bridge near Florence, which was replaced by a UCEB.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 26, 2011, by Matt Lohry

Sheldon, you could tell him that his private bridge will be featured on a world-class, world-famous website! And you wouldn't even be lying! :>D

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 26, 2011, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

I would ask him. I'm sure he would allow you to photograph the bridge if you say that you are a photographer for the Historic Bridges of the US. ;-)

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 26, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Hey Robert,

Wilbert Bartel is the name of that man who owns the Bartel bridge. But I don't think he will let me go on his property to photograph the bridge. He might let you do it though.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 23, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Okay, imposter - I was making a point that if certain people like yourself can post, why not a car. James, can we get some sort of moderation on this forum? This is getting ridiculous.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 22, 2011, by Anonymous

Chelsea, watch it this is a public forum. Also, I was only one of the people who gave this bridge a fraction star so at least two others in the crowd felt the same way. No need to make false assumpution cause you know what that makes you.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 22, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I live in Texas now, so I won't be in the area anytime soon. Sheldon, do you know the landowners of this or the Bartel Farm Bridge? Would they let you take photographs?

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 22, 2011, by Bill McGann

Anyone close enough to get some actual photos?

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 21, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I concur with the majority here......Although there has been a collective frustration with some of Sheldon's previous postings, he has improved greatly in his understanding of the type's of structures to add here.

My hat's off to those here who have stayed positive and encouraged young Sheldon through this journey.....And to the "Anonymous" minority out there I would just remind you that you were once young (perhaps you still are) and are by no means perfect in your own right.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 21, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Thank you!

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 21, 2011, by Michael Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] odot [dot] state [dot] or [dot] us)

I have been at a conference for the past week. I come back and see a rip on Sheldon for asking a question. This kind of degrading seems uncalled for when looking at Sheldon's recent contributions. Like it was mentioned before, Sheldon has been doing some excellent work lately and finding this structure is an excellent addition to the collection.

Good Work Sheldon!

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 21, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I just rated it a 4 star, though if I found out it was really unique (ie unusual design, rare example of a particular firm, etc), I could certainly update it to a 5.

I have suspected that "Anonymous" is at work as well.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 21, 2011, by Matt Lohry

It's probably the three "Anonymous" cowards deliberately giving the bridge low ratings just because Sheldon added it...Hopefully, my 5-star rating of this structure will help out the average a bit! :>)

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 21, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

A fraction of a star? This one is a truss!

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Thank you very much, guys. Just going to move past him.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Robert Thompson (rkt [dot] engineering [at] gmail [dot] com)

Ignoring "Anonymous" is your best bet, Sheldon. You've been giving us great postings lately. Don't let 'em grind you down!

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

I agree--this is a nice find and a great example of a bridge that needs to be rediscovered so that it can be preserved rather than forgotten about and eventually scrapped. It's been fun watching Sheldon learning along with the rest of us on this site.

Time for some field work on this bridge before all the leaves are out--and time for the tick spray as well.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by J.P.

Sheldon great add man. I have no idea why people have to be rude. Mr. or Ms. A. Post your name for once. I do it on all my post no matter what.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Sheldon:

You are right to ignore Anonymous - (s)he does not have the courage to post under a proper name. Some anonymous poster has attacked me in the past for simply expressing opinions about the construction or design of bridges. I guess all we can do is grab some popcorn and watch anonymous continue to pout. I am sure he will attack me for this post too...

Robert

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

What's up with this Anonymous thing? He's blaming me for so much modern bridge posting. Now I have learned to quit posting modern bridges and search for historic or spectacular structures. I am going to ignore this Anonymous guy until he will stop blaming me or learn to use his real name.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Matt Lohry

I fully agree with Jason here--after all, nobody would know about this extant truss if it weren't for Sheldon! It's been a long time since he's posted a UCEB, and he's caught on quite nicely! Sheldon, keep up the good work!

Oh, and Anon--a real name might be nice.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

HEY ANNONYMOUS! WHY DON'T YOU QUIT POSTING CRAP LIKE THIS AND SHOW THE KID A LITTLE BIT OF RESPECT! HE JUST ASKED A QUESTION AND THAT WAS IT! WE DON'T NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU TO AGITATE THE SITUATION. IN FACT THE ONLY PERSON WHO SHOULD BE GETTING WITH THE PROGRAM IS YOU AND YOU ONLY! LET HIM DO THE WORK AND ALLOW REAL PEOPLE TO HELP HIM WHEN NEEDED! THANK YOU! Now Sheldon, we just have to get you out bridgehunting so that you can find some good historic bridges. The season is upon us and you should go out there and just do it. Happy hunting, man!

Robert, thanks for helping him out and updating him on the terminology... :-)

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Anonymous

Sheldon, are you kidding?!!?!? I can't believe this. Where have you been for the last year when every one ripped on you for posting UCEB's

UCEB = UGLY CONCRETE EYESORE BRIDGE

Quit posting them.

Examples include a bridge you crossed on your way to school, random highway bridges, bridges on a county road close to your house. It's not hard to see what the general idea of an historic bridge is from this site.

Quit posting a culverts with 5 foot spans in a drainage ditch built in 1990, I have one of those in my driveway. If I wanted to see "EYESORES" like that I would sit and stare at my driveway but, I would rather come here and look at real historic bridges not the UCEB's you post day in and day out. Get with the program.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Sheldon:

UCEB stands for Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridge.

Thanks for the update on this bridge - it is good to know that the truss is extant. I would not have known about this bridge if you had not added it.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted April 20, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens

What are UCEBs?

By the way, my dad used to ride across this bridge when he was little with my grandpa. Apparently this bridge was closed to traffic in the late 1970's and then the deck of the bridge was left to deteriorate and get destroyed by flooding. Of course the bridge is still there. But the deck is completely gone and all that is left is the frame of the bridge.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted December 27, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Exactly - this one escaped everybody's detection except Sheldon's. I can't find it in the NBI either.

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted December 27, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This was Sheldon's find......I just happened upon it and found the Bing image. We just need to get him to concentrate on these hidden trusses out there and to leave the UCEB's alone!

Cottonwood River Bridge
Posted December 27, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Great find! It sure appears to be extant. I have searched the KSHS database and have not yet found this bridge, so it may have even escaped their detection.