Eagle's Nest Bridge
View from east bank
Photo taken by James Baughn in February 2016
BH Photo #348944
From HAER INVENTORY, Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory; EAGLE’S NEST BRIDGE, Pike County, MO CR18, Bridge No. 018001.8
Bridging the Salt River at Eagle’s Nest Ford was a process that took nearly three years to complete. Pike County Surveyor J.D. Beauchamp first viewed suitable sites for the bridge in June 1904. This was a preliminary survey, with no further action taken at that time. Then, in December 1904, the Pike County Court ordered Beauchamp to estimate the cost and determine the best location for a Salt River bridge between Eagle’s Nest Ford and Bullock’s Ford. A month later the Court ordered funds from Buffalo and Salt River Townships to be set aside for two years to pay for the proposed bridge. This order was later rescinded though, and in early February 1905 the Court established a special fund to pay for the structure. A year later, in February 1906, the Court finally ordered Beauchamp to solicit bids to build a bridge based on his designs. On March 5, 1906, the Missouri Bridge & Iron Company was awarded an $11,390.00 contract to construct a Salt River crossing just below Eagle’s Nest Ford. The contract called for a 295-foot main span and four forty-foot approach spans, and an 18-foot roadway. The substructure consisted of concrete-filled steel piers under the main span, and steel pedestals on concrete piers under the approach spans. Although Missouri B&I agreed to complete the project by the following January, the truss was not ready for traffic until June 1907. Today, Eagle’s Nest Bridge still functions in its’ original location. Possessing a high degree of historical integrity, the bridge remains little changed from its’ original appearance.
Before the state highway department began building bridges in the 1920’s, the individual counties were responsible for erecting and maintaining such structures. Numerous long span trusses were erected over the Salt, Meramec, the Cuivre, the Grand and other major rivers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their pinned connections and relatively narrow roadway widths have made them likely targets for replacement however, and many of them have been subsequently replaced. As a result of decades of attrition, relatively few long-span trusses remain in use in Missouri. Eagle’s Nest Bridge is distinguished among these as a well preserved example of a relatively uncommon type of Pratt sub type – the Pennsylvania through truss. Even more significant is the bridge’s distinction as the longest pinned-connected truss, other than the Chouteau over the Missouri River. A graceful long span structure, it is one of Missouri’s most important early wagon trusses.
Clayton Fraser, 14 September 1990.
- Abandoned through truss bridge over Salt River on CR 115
- Pike County, Missouri
- Abandoned with deck removed
- Future prospects
- Available for reuse
- Built 1907 by the Missouri Bridge & Iron Co.
- - Missouri Bridge & Iron Co. of St. Louis, Missouri
- Pin-connected, 14-panel Pennsylvania through truss
Length of largest span: 293.9 ft.
Total length: 450.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
- Also called
- Ashburn Bridge
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +39.50552, -91.16988 (decimal degrees)
39°30'20" N, 91°10'12" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 15/657344/4374475 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Land survey
- T. 55 N., R. 2 W., Sec. 30
- 441 ft. above sea level
- Inventory numbers
- MO 082-018001.8 (Missouri off-system bridge number)
BH 22311 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- August 24, 2016: Updated by K. Allen Ballard: Changed name to actual Historic Name based on 1990 MO Historic Bridge Inventory; Added narrative from same document.
- February 13, 2016: New photos from James Baughn
- October 18, 2010: Updated by Jamie Forbes: Added elevation
- June 6, 2005: Posted new photos