6 votes

UP - Arkansas River Bridge


Oblique View

Photo taken by David Backlin in July 2006


BH Photo #132368


Street View 


Double-intersection warren through truss bridge over Arkansas River on Union Pacific Railroad
Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas
Open to traffic
Built 1944, Approaches and piers reconstructed mid-1990s
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP (1866-1920); RI (1920-1975) ROCK (1975-1980))
- Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT)
- Oklahoma, Kansas & Texas Railroad (OKT)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
153.4' Riveted double-intersection Warren through truss
I-beam approaches (160' each)
The 1973 RI track chart lists the bridge with two timber approaches, a 16 panel and a 14 panel ballasted deck pile trestle. Both were replaced in the mid-1990s with steel I-beam stringers on H-pilings due to a fire that damaged the bridge. During reconstruction, the main piers were also replaced with H-pilings.
Length of largest span: 153.4 ft.
Total length: 475.0 ft.
Also called
RI - Br.#2476
RI - Arkansas River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.64096, -97.33146   (decimal degrees)
37°38'27" N, 97°19'53" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/647209/4167289 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Wichita East
Inventory number
BH 38518 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 1, 2017: New photos from John Marvig
  • December 2, 2016: Updated by Dylan VanAntwerp: Added categories "Riveted", "Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad", "Oklahoma, Kansas & Texas Railroad", "Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad"
  • November 20, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • April 28, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added GPS Coordinates
  • January 13, 2009: Added by David Backlin


  • David Backlin - us71 [at] cox [dot] net
  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Dana and Kay Klein
  • Dylan VanAntwerp - dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com


UP - Arkansas River Bridge
Posted November 2, 2017, by David Backlin (us71 [at] cox [dot] net)

08 or 09 from what I can see.

UP - Arkansas River Bridge
Posted November 2, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Does that plaque in photo 7 say 1908?

UP - Arkansas River Bridge
Posted November 2, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

If you are just joining us...

your eyes are not fooling you, yes that really is an 8 span Marsh Arch bridge in the background.

In other words, this crossing features a massive Marsh Arch and a massive railroad bridge. Neither of these bridges would have been cheap to build. Nothing low budget here. Clearly, this was a major travel corridor in decades past.

UP - Arkansas River Bridge
Posted December 2, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks for adding more information. This is a heavy bridge, but I am not sure if the truss was built here, or if it was moved here at some point. I first learned of the bridge in 1999, while visiting the nearby John Mack Bridge.

UP - Arkansas River Bridge
Posted December 2, 2016, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

I've seen several heavy, subdivided Warren trusses that the Rock Island has built, but this bridge takes the cake. It looks like it was meant to hold up a couple of UP Big Boy locomotives in the middle of an earthquake! Wow!

UP - Arkansas River Bridge
Posted December 2, 2016, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

They probably replaced the timber approaches and the main stone or concrete piers with H-piles at that time, but there is no way the timbers underneath the main span were replaced then. Those have been cut down for a very, very long time, whenever the old wooden trestle over the river was replaced by a truss, possibly even the current bridge.

UPRR Arkansas River Bridge
Posted November 20, 2016, by Paul Smith (hobie57592002 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

In the mid 90s the bride caught fire. the pilings were replaced at that time.

UPRR Arkansas River Bridge
Posted January 14, 2009, by Max Johnson

It appears that under this bridge and the approaches that there is chopped off wood under it. it looks like there was a wooden trestle here at one time and this bridge replaced it.