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Bruns' Bridge

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Photos 

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Photo taken by James Baughn in May 2010

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Video 

DIVERS BRUN'S BRIDGE 1975

Video submitted by Harry O'Toole

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Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Meramec River on Mill Hill Road south of Moselle
Location
Franklin County, Missouri
Status
Lost
History
Built 1888 by the King Iron Bridge Co.; bypassed by new bridge in 1993, destroyed by flooding on May 1st, 2017.
Builders
- George E. King Bridge Co. of Des Moines, Iowa (Contractor)
- King Iron Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio (Fabrication) [also known as King Bridge Co.]
Design
Wrought iron, pin-connected, 10-panel Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 193.9 ft.
Total length: 198.2 ft.
Deck width: 14.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.0 ft.
Also called
Mill Hill Road Bridge
Short's Ford Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.34796, -90.88226   (decimal degrees)
38°20'53" N, 90°52'56" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/685059/4246545 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Saint Clair
Land survey
T. 42 N., R. 1 E., Sec. 26
Inventory number
BH 21502 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 02/1991)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 31.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 1991)
125

Update Log 

  • May 1, 2017: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Status, Status Description, and History as per forum comment. Destroyed by flooding.
  • February 2, 2011: New video from Harry O'Toole
  • May 7, 2010: New photos from James Baughn
  • July 3, 2006: Posted new photos

Sources 

Comments 

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 24, 2017, by Sharon Spear (sweetsexysharon [at] gmail [dot] com)

On April 16th we were out taking photos and we stopped so I could get photos of the old bridge. Little did I know what would happen to the bridge on May 1st! We returned on May 19th and I took photos of the wreckage. I didn't want to post them on this page so as not to spoil the beauty of the old bridge. I have posted both the "beauty shots" and the "wreckage shots" to my PBase page at this link:

http://www.pbase.com/sharonmsphotos/bruns_bridge

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 16, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have been wondering if it was still somewhat intact, albeit undoubtedly mangled.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 16, 2017, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

Field check today: the wreckage is still in the water. The river is still high so only a portion is visible. It's hard to imagine how much water it took to push this bridge off the abutments.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 2, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Here is the bridge being destroyed.

https://twitter.com/RaferWeigel/status/859163415998115840

This is the cost of "Do Nothing." This rare bridge should have been relocated, preserved and reused. It was one of the oldest and most unique of its type in the area. States like Indiana have a bridge management plan to address bridges like this. Missouri in contrast has a horrible preservation track record. State policy is just as much to blame here as Mother Nature.

Attachment #1 (video/mp4; 224,800 bytes)

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 1, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yes, I hope that we don't lose any others in this flooding event. One bridge collapse is bad enough. This entire multi-state region still has quite a few abandoned trusses, but that number drops with every major flood.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 1, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Sad news indeed!

Sounds like the old girl had survived historic floods in the past. Guess it was just time for Mother Nature to have the final say! I just hope this is our only loss!

Bruns' Bridge RIP !!!!!
Posted May 1, 2017, by Kris glass (Krisglass1986 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Pics are 30 mins before it was takin by the flood lots of memories here all we can hope for now is it gets cleaned up for all of us who enjoy this stretch of river every summer in our boats.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 1, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)
Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 1, 2017, by Michael G.

Hard to believe this old bridge is now gone. I grew up close to it and crossed it hundreds of times as a kid. Anyone growing up in this area, as well as the surrounding areas, knew of this bridge. It was a long lasting landmark for so many...for so long. Will have many fun memories of this, the last truss bridge in this area.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 1, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)
Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 1, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

What a tragic loss. I was afraid that Missouri, Arkansas, and perhaps Oklahoma would lose some bridges in this event.

This flooding illustrates why I am comfortable with restored bridges being moved off of active rivers and placed over nearby smaller creeks, ponds, or drainage ditches. Likewise, I am in favor of them being raised and placed on taller, wider, and sturdier pylons.

The collapse of this bridge represents a terrible loss of a great historic resource. I wish that I could have seen it in person. Thanks for letting us know about this collapse. I will update the page to reflect your information.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 1, 2017, by Nick L

Bruns' Bridge was washed away during major flooding on May 1, 2017.

Bruns' Bridge during a lightning storm
Posted August 6, 2016, by Brian Hegamyer (hegamyer [at] outlook [dot] com)

Visited the bridge last night during a thunderstorm and got this picture.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted December 5, 2010, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

The photo of this bridge, at flood stage, posted in the "comments" section, really adds perspective to the volume of water that can pass thru this location.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted December 4, 2010, by Christopher Harris (chrharr [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

I too am a member of the Bruns Family. My Great Grandmother was Anna Bruns-Schuchart who grew up in the Big House (Bruns House). She was the youngest of 10 children of Johann & Margaret Oeltjenbruns (later changed to Bruns - 1880).

I am submitting a photo of the Bruns Bridge at flood stage taken before 1940, as well as two photos of the Bruns House as it looked before 1900.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted August 21, 2010, by Marissa Lewis (divergurl2002 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

This bridge holds a lot of memories for me and my family. I remember my great aunt Elizabeth’s 90th? birthday and the family reunion. I can recall going to this same bridge well as the old house near the bridge and hearing all of the great stories my grandmother, Shirley Ray Bruns, had there when she was young. Such wonderful memories! I feel proud that this legacy still lives on and will forever be a part of my family even though my grandmother and mother are no longer living.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted July 3, 2010, by Erica (ericamnrs [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge scares the crap out of me! A friend of mine jumped off of it and drowned in may of 08. Him and his other friends used to go there all the time and jump off of it but this time was bad. I went to the bridge about a year ago and there was a noose hanging from the very top of it, which shocked me because i dont know how anyone could have got it up there. but i heard that many people have hung themselves at the bridge. i will never go near it again. r.i.p. vernon r foree

Bruns' Bridge
Posted June 19, 2010, by Anonymous

my best friend died here.

Bruns' Bridge
Posted May 15, 2010, by molly Hill (birdgurl97 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

My brother and I visited this bridge a few weeks ago, I remember when in school hearing the other kids talk about hanging out here. school kids still congregate to this spot judging by the empty soda cans and food wrappers. It's a very neat bridge indeed. Whilst there my brother took this profound picture of a flower growing up through the deck, enjoy!!

Mill Hill Road Bridge
Posted December 4, 2007, by Anonymous

This bridge is a landmark for all who grew up in this area. The name we all knew it as was "Big Bruns' Bridge". The name given because of an old woman, Elizabeth Bruns, and her family who have lived many years in this area raising cattle and farming the land. She is over 100 years old now and ,I believe, still lives in the same house very close to the bridge.

Several of us kids used to jump off this bridge (late 80's) into the water below. If you were brave (stupid) you jumped off the top spans. The river was about 9ft. deep under the bridge so it was quite the adventure. There are many good memories in this area and this bridge holds many for a lot of people who grew up here. It was a gift that they simply bypassed it with a new concrete structure instead of dropping it and cutting it up for scrap.

Thanks again for a great internet site!