1 vote

Beaver Creek Bridge


Photo taken by Nick Schmiedeler in December 2017


BH Photo #415131



Pony truss bridge over Beaver Creek, 6.0 mi. north and 5.0 mi. west of Smith Center
Smith County, Kansas
Open to traffic
Built ca. 1910
Pony truss
Length of largest span: 29.8 ft.
Total length: 32.1 ft.
Deck width: 15.7 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.86201, -98.87963   (decimal degrees)
39°51'43" N, 98°52'47" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/510295/4412448 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory numbers
KS 000920657003187 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 18562 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 22.2 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


Built during 1910s (8,900)
Kansas (2,756)
One-lane traffic (7,452)
Open (37,297)
Owned by county (19,073)
Pony truss (15,174)
Smith County, Kansas (67)
Span length 25-50 feet (13,910)
Structurally deficient (18,503)
Total length 25-50 feet (10,070)
Truss (29,786)

Update Log 

  • December 27, 2017: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler



Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted December 29, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

They look like concrete encased legs. A common alteration based on some visits to bedsteads I did a while ago. You should see a bearing plate on top of concrete if it was a "false" bedstead, ie a pony truss with vertical end posts.

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted December 27, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This tiny little bridge is highly significant for a number of reasons.

First of all, it contains only two panels. Diminutive bridges like this were not generally built after about 1910 because larger steel beams that were being fabricated then could simply be used as components of a stringer bridge.

Furthermore, this bridge has very unusual cast iron assemblies at the junction between the end post and the top chord. The diagonal member pass through these cast-iron assemblies and are fastened with threaded rod connections. This assembly system is similar to the cast iron assemblies used by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company. Connections like this are typically found on bridges that were built before 1890.

At first glance, this bridge appears to be a borderline bedstead. The legs only appear to extend a very small distance below the bottom chord. On the other hand, the legs might have been encased in concrete. If so, the legs might be buried underneath the concrete about mints yet still be intact all the way down to the creek.

This bridge is of substantial historic value and needs to be saved.

Beaver Creek Bridge
Posted December 27, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Another oddball "untrue" bedstead, this one open to traffic, compact little thing, seems pretty sturdy still