4 votes

Backbone Road Bridge



Photo submitted by huck (at) finn.com

BH Photo #103854


Abandoned through truss bridge over Cedar Creek on Backbone Road
Boone County, Missouri, and Callaway County, Missouri
Derelict with deck missing
- Illinois Bridge & Iron Co. of Sullivan, Illinois
Main span: Pin-connected, 6-panel Pratt through truss
Also called
Duley Mill Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.80216, -92.14972   (decimal degrees)
38°48'08" N, 92°08'59" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/573832/4295165 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Millersburg SW
Land survey
T. 46 N., R. 11 W., Sec. 3
641 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 20897 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 19, 2014: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added historic name
  • July 14, 2013: New photos from Steven Eichelberger
  • February 19, 2009: Updated by Wes Worsham


  • Wes Worsham
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com


Backbone Road Bridge
Posted August 19, 2018, by owen mcnamee (soapmanii [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Drove down the Backbone sometime in the early 60s when i was in my 20s going from rock to rock and through gullys in the gravel. Scary then and I sure would not want to do it at 80 As I recall there were still some boards in place then.

Backbone Road Bridge
Posted April 19, 2014, by Phil Duff (duffphil [at] hotmail [dot] com)

April 19, 2014 photos

Backbone Road Bridge
Posted January 3, 2012, by mike siegel (teahsiegel [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The bridge was reboarded in the mid 1970.The bridge boards where burnt not sure why, what boards that where not burnt where stolen,you may beable to look up in local paper to find out more,after this the county did not want to replace the boards again.

Backbone Road Bridge
Posted October 19, 2008, by Hew McElroy (mcdocs1 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

There was a mill, named Duley's Mill, established circa 1820s, on the Boone County side of Cedar Creek near the base of the Devil's Backbone, that high, steep ridge, down which the steep Backbone Road you refer to led to the Cedar Creek. Cedar Creek was used to power the mill. Evidently, the mill was quite the social center of the day. The "why" of the bridge was to give access to the mill from Calloway County on the other side of Cedar Creek. I believe that there was originally a ford across the creek that was probably replaced with a wooden bridge and later the metal truss bridge. The "when" it was built and later abandoned I do not know, except that it likley correlated with the closing of the mill, probably in the early 1900's. I am looking into this; the mill was owned by the Duleys at least until 1895 and later owned by W. H. Renoe, a Dentist who also had his practice at the mill. After the mill closed, travelers desiring to cross the creek could go upstream a short distance and use the Rutherford Bridge, hence being able to avoid the steep road going up the Devil's BackBone. The Rutherford Bridge was a similar metal truss bridge, also later abandoned, that was converted to a foot bridge circa 1983 by the Boy Scouts, giving access to hiking what was originally known (and still is, popularly) as the Devil's BackBone trail and is now known as the Cedar Creek Trail.

Backbone Road Bridge
Posted August 4, 2008, by Matt (mdk3kf [at] mizzou [dot] edu)

Does anyone know why this bridge was abandonded? or why it was originally built? The road leading down to it is nearly impossible to drive even in a pickup.