Located northwest of Bellwood, this small-scale truss carries a secondary county road across Clear Creek. The structure is a pin-connected Warren through truss, resting on concrete abutments and wingwalls. Two bridge plates reveal that the structure was built by the King Iron Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio in 1891. King originally built the span at the small town of Ulysses near the southern edge of Butler County, where it stood for some thirty-eight years. Then, in 1928, the truss was moved to its present location. Pin-connected Warren trusses are rare with only two examples known to exist in Nebraska, this structure and the Honey Creek Bridge in Nemaha County.
Indeed a unique little span! When I first saw how light it was I assumed it to be much older than 1890's. It may however just been built as an economical structure.
Although National Register Status is certainly no guarantee of survival, you have to hope it at least means there is an element of local awareness. That and the ridiculously low ADT give some chance that it will be retained.
It would be an idea candidate to relocate to a park.
This is a strange little bridge. There are a number of construction details that are rather odd, or at least unusual. Like the upper chord beams - two pieces of angle stock with widely spaced battens. The top batten is pretty ordinary, except it is only long enough for one rivet. But there is another batten underneath that one. It is "U" shaped riveted to the sides about half way between the edges.
Then there are the "X" shaped built up struts.
And the timber stringers.
And a warren truss. With the first diagonals built as tension only.
And the triangular floor beams.
The over-length pin I'm blaming on shoddy maintenance, even though it is unusual.
A fascinating bridge I don't expect will be around much longer...
Well.....I looked closer and I see they are simple battens. This is a very light bridge and looks much older than 1891.
Nice bridge! The portals have what I call King's "X's and O's" design, but the endposts are very light and unique. They look more like 1870's Columbia Bridge Works style with what appear to be spacers or packing blocks.
Here is a beautiful collection of overview and detail photos of this extremely rare and unusual bridge.
Looks similar to the Henkins Ford Bridge in Caldwell County, MO., albeit somewhat shorter. Both are products of the King Bridge Company.
WOW! I have photographed a very limited number of bridges in Nebraska, but I think I need to put the whole state on my list.
Nebraska/Iowa have some great MO river structures as well.
This is an incredible and bizarre bridge!