Rating:
2 votes

Belleville Bowstring Bridge

Photos 

Looking South

Photo taken by Robert Elder in August 2017

Enlarge

BH Photo #400792

Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Bowstring pony truss bridge over Unnamed Stream on Hiking Trail
Location
Belleville, Republic County, Kansas
Status
Open to pedestrians only
History
Likely built ca. 1876.
Builder
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Design
Bowstring pony truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.83183, -97.61861   (decimal degrees)
39°49'55" N, 97°37'07" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/618205/4410004 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 77987 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 23, 2017: New photo from Robert Elder
  • August 22, 2017: New photos from Robert Elder
  • July 24, 2017: New Street View added by Robert Elder

Sources 

  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com

Comments 

Belleville Bowstring Bridge
Posted September 5, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge might be the same as this one:

http://khri.kansasgis.org/createPDF.cfm?in=157-0000-00037&re...

I would need to contact the county to get confirmation. The Bowstring in the link above was not considered NRHP eligible, but I would think that decision could easily be reversed today. I see no justifiable reason for denying eligibility for a Bowstring today.

Belleville Bowstring Bridge
Posted August 22, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Those tubular verticals appear to be original and they have their own connection assemblies at the top chord.

Also, during a wet year, this bridge spans a swamp, not just a creek. That was the case today as the lake was full and was backing up under the bridge.

Belleville Bowstring Bridge
Posted August 22, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I field visited this Bowstring today. It is a beauty! It has not had a full restoration, but Republic County deserves some major accolades for placing the bridge in this park. While the bridge could still use a bit of preservation work, I am thrilled that the county saved it from demolition and repurposed it for a trail. Hats off to them for doing so.

Belleville Bowstring Bridge
Posted July 24, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge might have been part of the 1876 four-span bridge over the Republican River at Concordia, although I have not confirmed that. The bridge is clearly a match to the nearby County Line Bowstring Bridge and the destroyed Salt Creek Bowstring Bridge.

Most notably, it has those odd vertical members that give the bridge a "Whipplefied" appearance. In other words, they subdivide an otherwise normal looking panel.

Belleville Bowstring Bridge
Posted July 24, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Apparently, the bridge has been sitting here for several years. It has received very little publicity and I had no idea that it even existed until I found it thanks to Streetview.

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/12294560/

Republic County has a nice collection of nationally significant bridges. Don't let the small size of most of the bridges fool you. Many of them have very high historic significance. This region has the potential to be a destination for bridge fans - especially if some of the abandoned/doomed bridges are moved to the park or other places instead of being turned into soup cans.

Belleville Bowstring Bridge
Posted July 24, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I just discovered this Wrought Iron Bridge Co. Bowstring span. Hats off to the folks of Republic County for preserving this nationally significant bridge!