2 votes

Sappington Bridge



BH Photo #105155


Lost through truss bridge over Meramec River southeast of Sullivan beyond the end of Route D
Crawford County, Missouri
No longer exists
Built 1904; demolished Mar. 21, 2002; new concrete bridge completed Dec. 2002.
- D.W. Childs (design)
- Miller & Borcherding Bridge Builders of St. Louis, Missouri (1914 repairs)
- Stupp Brothers Bridge & Iron Co. of St. Louis, Missouri (contractor)
Pin-connected, 11-panel Parker through truss, with a 3-panel Pratt pony truss approach
Length of largest span: 200.0 ft.
Total length: 250.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.5 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.15911, -91.10978   (decimal degrees)
38°09'33" N, 91°06'35" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/665604/4225157 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Meramec State Park
Land survey
T. 40 N., R. 2 W., Sec. 35
Inventory number
BH 21372 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 27, 2010: New photos from John Christeson


  • John Christeson - john_christeson [at] yahoo [dot] com


Sappington Bridge
Posted May 16, 2011, by Geoffrey Donnan (gwd [at] reformation [dot] edu)

Just downriver from the old bridge on the opposite side before the "rapids" (as we called them) was a "club house" which my grandfather and father built during the late 1930s or early 1940s. I wasn't around, so I don't remember, but I do remember from the late 1940s into the 1950s many times playing down on the river and looking up at that bridge. We drove across it coming from the Sullivan side by car and always were afraid to look or listen due to the noise of the boards. When I got brave enough, we'd walk up to the bridge and out on it but it took a lot of bravado for fear of falling through. The bridge's swaying was awful.

I visited again for the first time perhaps in 50 years during August of 2010 and found the foundation, sidewalks and steps of the old "club house". I'm trying to find some good quality pictures of the old bridge (higher quality than the one on this website) and would be much obliged if anyone who might have some would share them with me.

I may have some other pictures from different angles which might be nice. If I run across them, I'll upload them.

My great Uncle Gerald Donnan stayed for about a year in that club house. I recollect he married a local Crow girl. We spent days at a time down there often in groups and I spent hours at a time traversing the gravel bars for copperhead snakes to kill. We also had a cable swing off an old tree that seems like it is still there, where I gored my arm with some of the rusted cable. Anytime a car or truck would cross the bridge, we'd always look up sure that the bridge would fall.

We'd always canoe upriver from the bridge and then let the current bring us down. Occasionally, if we dared, we'd let the rapids that are still there, take us further, but it was always so hard to get back that we rarely did that. Oh the memories.

Sappington Bridge
Posted August 29, 2010, by jim conrad

I lived on the adjoining Rutherford Farm and crossed the bridge everyday on the school bus. The whole thing shook with the wooden planks popping as described in another note and the metal superstructure squeaking. The descent from the bluff to the bridge surface was particularly treacherous on Winter's ice. But we were kids. We loved it. :)

Sappington Bridge
Posted February 1, 2010, by Aaron (aaronbouser [at] gmail [dot] com)

Man, that bridge. We used to always put our boats in the river under that bridge. As well, I remember as a kid being scared riding in the truck across it, because the boards of the deck clapped up and down and made a distinct POP..POP POP as we drove across them. Thanks for the picture.