Photo taken by Nick Schmiedeler in October 2016
BH Photo #368837
Reply to Topher:
I have not researched the ownership of this one. Consulting with landowners is always a good idea, and Nick has been doing a great job of this.
I always check with landowners if a bridge appears to be private. Most of the time, the landowners are happy to let me on if I ask permission. A couple have not replied, but only one landowner has actually flat-out denied me access.
Sometimes, determining ownership can be difficult. For example, many Kansas bridges are on roads that are impassible to vehicles, but are still public. In these cases, you can legally park and walk to the bridge. Other bridges are on roads that are officially closed, but the bridge touches two or more properties. These ones can be tricky. In some cases, the bridge is still public, the road is still public, but a landowner posts it as private. I encountered this at the Independence Bowstring Bridge, but a local homeowner said something like, "it is still public, but we are just trying to discourage teenagers from having parties here".
County GIS maps can be a good resource if you cannot find the owner.
Is this one on private property?
Jason Smith US expat from Germany has Othmar H Ommann Awards from his web site Bridge Hunters Chronicles. This Bridge took second and Clarks Creek 3rd in Mystery Bridge category 2016. Harvey Mountain (Coalbrook lake) won it but dude you rocked the world in last 12 months of bridge hunting. Thanks for all your efforts. Scan back through forum for links to see your work appreciated. I added category to honor those who document and hopefully if a bridge is in danger it cant hurt to be award nominated.
Dana and Kay - tell me more about this nomination, not familiar as yet....thanks
Hey very much appreciate those nice words Robert. One of the funnest years of my life driving around Kansas past 12 months looking for these old beauties. The advice and guidance and knowledge base in this web group is unbelievable.
Also, there are many historical societies that have used Bridgehunter as a resource. Nick is doing a great job of filling in a lot of blanks. This action has made Bridgehunter much more effective for researchers.
We cannot begin to save bridges if we do not know about them. Thanks to Nick, we all have a much better idea of the types of bridges that are out there, and also their conditions. It is not easy to traverse muddy roads on foot and to track down landowners.
The work that Nick has done on here is truly incredible. Almost all of the bridges that he has found are ones that I had no idea existed when I still lived in Kansas.
I don't worry about numbers either. When I was bridge hunting in Kansas, I was just trying to visit as many bridges as I could and get a couple of photos onto Bridgehunter. Because my time was limited I did not get to do a thorough documentation of many bridges. This is unfortunate, but I did what I could do at the time. Now, I am hoping to get back to many of our bridges now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing. I hope however, that my work has raised awareness and assisted others who want to visit publicly accessible bridges.
My other big goal now is to try to save as many bridges as possible. There are a lot of bridges out there that are either facing demolition or are on the verge of collapse. If we are going to take action to save them, now is the time. They may not be here 10 years from now. Thankfully there are contributors here who have the ability to make this happen. I have great faith in Nels, Julie, et. al. But, it is going to take all of us.
Each state is a little bit different. In Kansas many bridges have transferred back to private owners. If working in Kansas it is very important to build relationships with landowners. I am working to accomplish this goal. I am grateful to Nick for working on this aspect of it as well.
We are all in this together. If we are going to save bridges, then we must be action oriented. We all have a role to play. What is your role?
Fully agree with Nathan here... And the numbers can be greatly deceiving in relation to actual usable content.
Nick is forging through the "Jungles" of Kansas to shine the light on some long forgotten Gems that many of us have been wondering about... And have only dreamed of visiting!
I don't worry about numbers, I concern myself with results. And to this end, Nick is delivering... not only by revealing important bridges that were previously just a no-photo inventory listing on this website, but also visiting bridges for which access is difficult. These are very valuable contributions.
Nor mine, John. Not uncommon to drive 2+ hours to my first destination of the day....loving my 44 mpg Versa Note more and more haha. 16% of all BH....wo!! 3 more bridges I will be at 150 since I started 11 months ago....all I know is this is fun as hell, and not about to stop, motivation to join the 16% club!!
I love what Nick finds! The work and dedication he puts in astounds me, and is certainly a motivator to go after some of my finds. Oh, as for #1 on the leaderboard: friendly competition benefits the community, just not my gas tank haha :)
Wow Nick! John, Royce and Bobbette have almost 40,000 contributions or 16% of all Bridgehunter. While yours are not as numerous they CERTAINLY are the road less Travelled. Thanks to all four of you for your contributions and best of luck in the balloting
Yeah... I've seen that done a few times! (Cringes in his chair)
As long as nobody lops off the eyebar heads with a cutting torch...
...And yes Robert, disassembly would be fine. I just worry about some of these substructures holding up through the process!
Now Nathan... Don't be a Buzzkill!
A person can fantasize ya know!! ;-)
An African Swallow, or a European Swallow?
Interesting thought with respect to the Hale Bridge. Perhaps we would have to go with the good old disassembly method for now...
Tony... You may want to do some weight calculations first. The large span of Iowas hale bridge is about the heaviest a chinook can pick. Most trusses weigh more.
A 1901 atlas appears to show a road on the west side of the oxbow crossing from Valley to Osage township. The river doesn't look that much different in 1901 than now.
Maybe that crossing was lost between 1936 and 1950, and the bridge on this page had been serving a smaller road, so they changed the road to cross this bridge?
Seems odd that two crossings would be so close together, but odder still that the river changed that much.
Pretty good distance for the missing approach... The main Parker span might have been bracketed by Pratt thru approaches.
This and the Bull Creek span make me want to start a company that uses military helicopters to lift these spans to safety. Any heavy-pocketed investors out there?
If the river channel changed that drastically between 1936 and 1950, perhaps the railroad bridge to the southwest was also rebuilt or moved. There should be some record of that.
This one is odd in that the county map shows the crossing and river in a very different location in 1936 than in 1950. The ashlar piers don't match what would be built after 1936. There is also no trace of the creek at the earlier channel, or of any bridge that might have been there.
Yes, looks like a Pratt truss is collapsing on the north end. Makes me wonder what sort of approach span was on the south end. Thankfully, that northern span was not over the water.
This bridge really epitomizes the situation with abandoned trusses nationwide.
Added just a few more photos, difficult to see in the brush but on north end there is a smaller height truss approach that is collapsing to the east
I noticed that the deck and approaches have been removed. That seems to be rather common. Keeps cars off I suppose.
Apparently, the county was not in too big of a hurry to demolish the bridge as the new one was built on a different alignment. How long it will hold out is anybody's guess.
I love seeing these old beauties emerge from the forgotten! Nice work!
Nick no bridge can remain hidden from your camera! Bridge hunter extraordinaire .
Excellent, we have been wondering about this one.
Got to the old beauty today....grown-over Hedges Road. Absolutely stunning to see...great piece of KS history.
And yes Nick... I have done it too! Just wanted to bring it to light and not make you feel bad about it!
Keep up the awesome posting!!!
This is definitely a bridge we have wondered about for some time now Nick! Thanks for visiting some of these Kansas "Elvis" bridges we have all been wondering about!
Awesome, thanks for putting in the effort. I can only visit Kansas bridges on vacation now that I live in Texas.
Something will happen with this very soon, I promise. Getting to meet many folks around the region surprisingly how many of them all know each other with these bridges on their properties or adjacent to their properties
If you can get permission, it would be great to see what this one looks like. Thanks for getting into the field.
Ha -yes, embarrassed - deleted photos here, will post on correct bridge link.
No worries, I have done this before many times.
Apologies. I obviously visited a bridge today and listed photos and comments under the wrong Bridge link, I will work to correct this
I don't have Nick's email, so I can't PM him, but these photos are of the Big Bull Creek Bridge on Harmony Road/North Iron Street on the north side of Paola. Glad to see the photos though. I am glad that Nick has been able to visit these bridges that I have not seen.
Ummmm... Wrong photos or wrong page maybe??
Satellite clearly shows a through truss at this location.
Found the elusive beauty today. Received permission from Pearl St. business to hike back on their property to the west- great survivor!!
This crossing seems to have changed location between 1936 and 1950. I assume the river used to wander before the levees were put in and it looks like the oxbow loop changed location enough that the bridge had to be moved. It might be fun to go look for an old channel or abutments on foot in the fall. Traces of the old road and channel show in gmaps but I can't see anything that looks like a former crossing location. The abutments on the current span might add information. If they used something more modern than ashlar it could be an indication that the bridge was relocated.
Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.
Miami County seemed to prefer Parker, Camelback, and Pratt through trusses built by the Kansas City Bridge Co. Based on Ruth's information, I would guess this might be similar to the Carey's Ford Bridge, though perhaps without the pony approaches.
This is purely speculation though.
There is definitely a bridge still there. You can see it from 351st Street when the leaves are off. It appears to be a camel back style bridge. But it's on private property with a no trespassing sign posted on what used to be the road--now a driveway to a house where no one lives. I haven't found out who owns it yet, so haven't tried to photograph the bridge.
HAHAHA......Not a bad idea Robert!
Might take some of the fun out of the hunt......but it would lessen the frustration as well!!
An open reply to Anthony:
Concerning all of these lost spans that are being rediscovered in Kansas - I have found a video that nicely sums up some of my recent bridgehunting experiences in Kansas.
All you have to do is substitute the word "bridge" for "fridge". Enjoy!
It is interesting that these spans have escaped my detection for years, even though I am from the area. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Kansas tried to maintain a network of roads with a one mile grid. This resulted in huge numbers of bridges being constructed there. Although many spans have been demolished, others are still re-appearing on long-abandoned road grades, so if anybody is willing to spend time in Kansas, they can still have some great finds.
Now that I no longer live in Kansas, I have been doing "remote bridgehunting" by looking at KSHS inventories and by scanning on Google Earth. Most of the KSHS surveys appear to have been done in the early 1980s.
Nice find Robert......definitely a truss extant there! You can make out the former road to the South, but it's hard to tell exactly where it ran to the North.
With all the mystery spans you are finding......a trip to Kansas would sure be nice!
I discovered this bridge on Google Earth. I had heard that there was a bridge in the vicinity, but I had assumed it was long gone because I have found no official records. NBI does not mention a bridge here, and so far I have not seen the bridge in any of my searches of the KSHS database (a record of over 1300 bridges).
The Google Earth imagery is very clear - there is definitely a truss bridge at this location. Zoom in and check it out.