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Roberts Ford Bridge

Map 

Facts 

Overview
Lost two-span pony truss bridge over Finley River on Arapaho Road
Location
Christian County, Missouri
Status
Replaced by new bridge
History
Built 1919 by the Pioneer Construction Co.; replaced 2000
Builder
- Pioneer Construction Co. of Malvern, Arkansas
Design
Two pin-connected, 5-panel Pratt pony trusses
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 80.1 ft.
Total length: 159.1 ft.
Deck width: 11.5 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.07677, -92.95360   (decimal degrees)
37°04'36" N, 92°57'13" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/504124/4103389 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Bruner
Land survey
T. 28 N., R. 18 W., Sec. 31
Elevation
1279 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 38699 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 21, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added historical name.
  • January 26, 2009: Added by James Baughn

Comments 

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 12, 2017, by Jeremy (jeremyjhill [at] gmail [dot] com)

Ok, here are a bunch of pictures of both the bridge (from different angles) and the pile of "stuff" that is nearby, being overtaken by vines, rose bushes, and trees. I hope you all find this interesting. Thanks!

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 8, 2017, by Jeremy (jeremyjhill [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks for the comments and the information/education. I'll try to get some pictures this weekend and I'll post them back here.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 6, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

For those interested in a detailed discussion of bridge types and other information, head on over to Nathan Holth's page:

http://historicbridges.org/info/intro/index.htm

This link will provide discussions of overall design as well as detail/assembly design.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 6, 2017, by Michael Quiet (mquiet [at] gmail [dot] com)

It sounds like it might have been shortened to fit this crossing, as that would explain the extra bridge parts lying around. That would also explain why this only has 1 set of counters (if it was the first panel of a longer pratt pony), and also why its disproportionately tall for being such a short span.

Jeremy, if you can ever snag a picture or two of that parts pile that would surely help with figuring out the story behind this. In any event its certainly a neat little bridge!

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Jeremy:

Truss types can be a bit confusing. I will try to find a chart and post it here. For some reason my smart phone is being difficult tonight and not letting me attach a link. If you have any questions about identifying truss types, the folks on here will be glad to help you out.

When I was first looking at bridges as a teenager, I really didn't know what I was doing. At that time I did not know a pin connected truss from a riveted one. It is all a learning process.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

There are also two fords shown on the 1982 Bruner quad, one on each of the roads leading from the bridge site toward the schools.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

I tracked down a map from 1939 which shows a Sherrow School located about a mile east of the original bridge site. (I've circled the bridge in red.) There was also a Roberts School located to the southeast. So the Sherrow Ford name makes sense.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by Jeremy (jeremyjhill [at] gmail [dot] com)

Also, the lady gave us the name Sherrow Ford bridge, if that means anything to anyone. Not sure if that means anything to anyone...

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by Jeremy Hill (jeremyjhill [at] jmark [dot] com)

Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately, I'm not well educated about the bridge types and, frankly, I didn't even know that these older bridges existed until I bought this property and this bridge was on it. So the talk about five panel pratts and queenposts frankly go over my head. Sorry. Here's what I know:

I bought the property last year. The gentleman who put the bridge here died a few years ago and I bought the place from his kids who don't have any info about provenance.

My wife visited a local feed store a couple weeks ago and was visiting with the person behind the counter and when she found out where we lived, she gave us the location of where the Bridge came from, and the name "Roberts Ford". That's how I found this listing on BridgeHunter.com (mainly through googling) and some old google image searches. The timelines that the person at the feed store gave us line up with the rough timeframes that I know the gentlemen who passed away was working on the property (he also completely renovated the 1880 farmhouse that we live in around the same time). That is all to say that I don't have concrete proof that this is the same bridge, but I have local folks telling me it is, and circumstantial and anecdotal evidence that it likely is.

Also, the original location for Roberts Ford is only about 5 miles (give or take) from my house where the bridge is now.

I'll add that there is a big mess of unused bridge parts under a tree on the property. I'm assuming they are parts that the guy didn't use. If anyone on here is local(ish) and has a desire to see what is here, feel free to contact me.

Thanks!

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Maybe he only took one of the two spans. Also, as Robert keenly noted, the diagonals are not in an "X" in the center panel, so as a result of this, it looks to me like a five panel Pratt truss could have been shortened into the Queenpost we see here. As I understand, diagonal members are "optional" bracing members in a Queenpost. I think some covered bridges and roof trusses omit diagonals. Most steel truss Queenpost bridges have them, but I think they are more like counters rather than diagonal members. So I think this bridge as configured probably still provides a Queenpost function even with the unusual diagonal situation.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Very nice that we have pictures. Thanks Jeremy!

The description is of a pair of five panel Pratts. The picture is not one. Can anyone reconcile this?

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Michael:

Thanks for the information. This is interesting stuff. If you want a bridge like this in your driveway, you might want to move to the Midwest - there are a few privately owned bridges out there still.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by Michael Quiet (mquiet [at] gmail [dot] com)

Robert,

In a Queenpost layout, the diagonals aren't critical to overall function of the bridge, so you can get away with a configuration like this. Without them, the verticals act solely in tension for supporting the load applied to the deck. It creates a more uneven application of stress to the endposts like this, but it still works fine. Quite a few covered Queenposts have empty center panels as well.

I wish my driveway had one of these :)

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 4, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Very interesting. I am glad this one got saved. It is an awesome Queenpost!

I am intrigued at how it is functioning with two pairs of diagonals missing.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 4, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

Nice Jeremy! Thanks for Sharing.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted December 4, 2017, by Jeremy (jerem)

Here are a few pictures taken today. I hope they are found to be of value.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted November 29, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

I think folks here would enjoy a few pictures from the side and some close up pics of the connections, as well as an idea of where it's currently located. You own a nice piece of history.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted November 29, 2017, by Jeremy (jeremyjhill [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thank you for the info!

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted November 27, 2017, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

Jeremy,

I'm attaching the page from the 1996 Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory about this bridge. Most of the info you probably already know, but it does give references to three entries in the county court records which mention the original construction of the bridge. If you can track down those sources at the county courthouse, they may shed some light on the early history of the bridge.

Roberts Ford Bridge
Posted November 27, 2017, by Jeremy (jeremyjhill [at] gmail [dot] com)

Does anyone know where one could find more information about this bridge - like old pictures or anything historical? The bridge was sold to a private party who put it on the property that I currently own. The original pony truss bridge is now part of my driveway, and I'm looking for any kind of historical context around it. TIA!