Rating:
8 votes

Steel's Fish Trap Bridge

Photos 

Side view

Photo taken by James Baughn

Request this photo

BH Photo #107032

Map 

Description 

This bridge is a nationally significant historic bridge not only as a rare example of a bowstring truss, but of one built by a company which has very few surviving bowstrings anywhere in the country.

EDIT by KAB; 6-28-16 Updated name based on Missouri Bridge Inventory list & Number. It figures that this bridge would deservedly have an equally interesting name!

Facts 

Overview
Bowstring through truss bridge over Salt Fork on CR 225
Location
Saline County, Missouri
Status
Closed to all traffic. Future uncertain.
Future prospects
Future uncertain. May be at risk for demolition. County wants to "...squeeze that liability out as quick as we can."
History
Built 1882 by the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co., using stone abutments from an earlier 1875 bridge
Builder
- Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co. of Leavenworth, Kansas
Design
Bowstring through truss
Dimensions
Span length: 100.0 ft.
Total length: 100.0 ft.
Deck width: 14.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 12.6 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.02607, -93.06142   (decimal degrees)
39°01'34" N, 93°03'41" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/494683/4319671 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Napton
Land survey
T. 49 N., R. 20 W., Sec. 13
Inventory numbers
MO 097-351000.5 (Missouri off-system bridge number)
MONBI 22330 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 22487 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 03/2010)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 15.4 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
15

Update Log 

  • June 28, 2016: Updated by K. Allen Ballard: Update name based on Missouri Bridge Inventory list & Number. It figures that this bridge would have an equally interesting name!
  • November 14, 2015: New photos from K. Allen Ballard
  • March 15, 2012: Updated by Nathan Holth: This nationally significant historic bridge is closed and may be doomed.
  • April 4, 2007: Posted new photos

Sources 

Comments 

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted October 27, 2015, by K. Allen Ballard (speedeeprint [at] gmail [dot] com)

Another picture follows.

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted October 27, 2015, by K. Allen Ballard (speedeeprint [at] gmail [dot] com)

I visited here Sunday, Oct 25, 2015; The County has erected cattle panels across the corner of the road making access impossible by vehicle / very difficult on foot. From there it is a steep 300 yard downhill walk. The first half would be a mess after a good rain, the last half is still pretty solid. The bridge is still in place and in relatively good shape. Spring to summer it would be very overgrown and hard to view from any angle with poor light unless directly overhead. Fall / Winter is best. The deck was mostly moss, dirt covered but it appears that it is reinforced cross-wise with light rail stock? I did get some decent pics but really needed another 30 mins to fully explore all angles. Still, this is a real gem of architectural history and should be preserved and made easily accessible to exploit for local tourism.

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted March 16, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The article does mention the possibility of repair though MoDot's Engineering Assistance program. Could that indicate that it will be restored for non commercial traffic?

Or does repair mean replace?

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted March 15, 2012, by Chris Perry

The news article fails to even mention the fact the bridge is almost 130 years old!! Doesn't something thats lasted three times as long as todays UCEB's at least deserve more respect than being labeled a "dangerous bridge?" Why don't we perform maintenance on these structures so they never get to this condition? I could really go into a rant here (this applies to other historical structures and landmarks too) but it would get too political so I'll leave it at that.

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted March 15, 2012, by Nathan Holth

This nationally significant historic bridge is closed and may be doomed.

http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1825955.html

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted June 30, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is a neat little through truss Julie....but it looks to have been smashed by a tree or something big on that one truss as it is leaning quite a bit.

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted June 30, 2011, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

what a great bowstring. looks in good shape....

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted June 30, 2011, by Shauna Walker Maschmann (matt_and_shauna [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The bridge is walking distance from where I grew up. Lots of memories here. My sister and I visited it just last month when we were visiting my parents. We were surprised to find wild grapes growing on it!

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted November 23, 2007, by Anonymous

I went over this bridge today. It's in good shape. The road was muddy and I didn't attempt to go farther north. Had to back up the way I came in.

Salt Fork Bowstring Bridge
Posted August 11, 2007, by Paul Boudreau (paboudreau [at] mchsi [dot] com)

What a unique old bridge. It's a great find. I went to check it out today and took some photos. It was the middle of an extremely hot, bright afternoon so the contrast between light and shadow made it difficult to get a good image. I'll upload a few that I took from water level to give a different perspective.

Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.