1 vote

Branch South Fork Solomon Bridge


Photo taken by Nick Schmiedeler in December 2017


BH Photo #414509


Pony truss bridge over a branch of South Fork Solomon, 0.3 mi. east of Alton
Osborne County, Kansas
Intact but closed to all traffic
Built ca. 1890
Pratt pony truss
Length of largest span: 39.0 ft.
Total length: 67.9 ft.
Deck width: 13.7 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.46583, -98.94000   (decimal degrees)
39°27'57" N, 98°56'24" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/505161/4368474 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
Inventory numbers
KS 000710647603740 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 18338 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2013)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 23 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


19th Century (8,364)
Built during 1890s (3,192)
Closed (2,759)
Kansas (3,269)
One-lane traffic (7,835)
Osborne County, Kansas (24)
Owned by county (21,607)
Pony truss (17,011)
Pratt pony truss (3,950)
Pratt truss (10,295)
Span length 25-50 feet (16,218)
Structurally deficient (12,885)
Total length 50-75 feet (9,570)
Truss (35,441)
Wooden deck (6,160)
Wrought Iron (417)

Update Log 

  • December 22, 2017: Updated by Jeff Wieland: According to comment and photos posted today, bridge is closed.
  • December 22, 2017: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • July 7, 2016: Updated by Robert Elder: Added category "Wrought Iron"



Branch South Fork Solomon Bridge
Posted December 23, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am glad to see that this bridge is still standing. I have been concerned but it could be in danger of demolition if there was a push to reopen this road. I believe that there were three historic truss bridges on this road as of a few years ago.

This bridge looks like a traditional pin connected Pratt pony truss at first. However, a closer look does reveal some interesting features. The bridge appears to have cast-iron bearing shoes and some interesting cast iron assemblies on the end posts. These are similar in appearance to those used by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company. They look a little bit smaller to me then the typical Wrought Iron Bridge Company assemblies.

In addition, the old bents underneath this bridge are built up members.

Branch South Fork Solomon Bridge
Posted December 22, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

IT LIVES....but is in fact closed, and oddly, the absolutely amazing (albeit wordy but worth it, zoom in!!) story-plaque of the original town-name-sake, General Bull and "Bull City", still sits on the east side, and is next to impossible to view, as opposed to the west side, or city-side, where you can walk right to the bridge. Neat old bridge on stilts, with some obvious later reinforcements

Branch South Fork Solomon Bridge
Posted July 7, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge was extant at least as of 2014, but appeared to be closed based on Google Maps. It does not appear in the 2015 NBI, which is a bit concerning.

It appears to be a product of the Wrought Iron Bridge Co.