While not directly related to bridges, tomorrow (May 15th) marks the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Rebel Creek. This small, and largely forgotten, Civil War battle was fought roughly three miles north of this bridge. The site is not accessible to the public.
This bridge was built only 8 years later.
With regards to the question about when the decking was removed from the bridge, I can tell you that it was sometime in 1964-1965.
Prior to that...there was some amount of decking, but it was rotted and missing to a large degree.
Vehicular traffic would not have been possible. I do not know what year the bridge was closed/condemned, only that it was not in use in 1963 when we moved to Independence.
When the bridge still had decking it was possible (if you dared)...to walk across the span... if you stayed near the outside edge.
After removal of the decking, you had to "Shinny" over the top of the bows. As kids...we did this to get to the other side of the river. Not the smartest thing.
Glad that is working for you! Happy bridgehunting.
Am in Independence. May have to go back to chanute but tomorrow I find the Bowstring. Robert your bridge hunting itinerary is great.
According the the NHRP nomination form (see added link in the links section), the decking was removed sometime in the 1960's--no surprise, as any evidence of any roadway leading to this bridge from either direction is nonexistent. The last traffic to use the bridge may have been right around this timeframe, but on the other hand, it may have been abandoned long before the deck was removed. The only way to find out for sure may be either to track down existing local records, or word of mouth from locals who have been around long enough to remember...
I am curious about when this bridge was closed to traffic.
As an update to my previous comment, I will be adding photographs showing the two types of columns. This bridge is rather difficult to photograph as it is barricaded and access is limited.
After a field inspection, I have confirmed that this bridge was constructed using both Phoenix and Keystone columns. Massive Phoenix columns were used for the main span, while smaller Keystone columns are found on the approach span. Thus, it appears that the Wrought Iron Bridge Co. used columns from competing firms for this bridge. I will try to find out if the smaller span is original to this bridge, or if it was a later addition.
To add to a recent discussion, the KSHS does consider the top chord of this bridge to be a Phoenix Column.
I learned about this bridge in the late 90s while looking over an old city map I'd managed to find on the 'net, noticing that Burns street actually crossed the Verdigris! I biked to that spot, expecting only to find the dead end, but was surprised to find the bridge itself. A very neat find! It's nice to see it represented as it is here.
Just cruising the INTERNET picking up information on the floods affecting Independence, Kansas.
My Family lived there from 1963 to 1968.
One of my brothers and myself (on a mutual dare) walked across the TOP of this bridge (on the bows) to the other side.
Back then....it was known simply as the "Old Condemned Bridge".
Someone spotted us...and called the police, we were nearly on the other side when they arrived...and we hurried to get across when they starting shouting at us.
Once across, we ran quite a long way up the river to the old spillway where we crossed back over.
We then made our way through the woods back to our home at Myrtle and East Second street. My mother would have skinned us alive had she ever found out about that stupid stunt.
Independence was a great town to live in, in those days gone by.