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AR42 St Francis Bay Bridge (Older)


St Francis Bay Route 42 Bridge, view downstream from W. Bank

September 21, 1943 view looking downstream from the west bank of the Route 42 St Francis Bay Bridge. This photo was taken from the approximate location where the relocated replacement bridge (BH 45377)over St Francis Bay Ditch was built in 1945

Memphis District US Army Corps of Engineers, September 23, 1943 - Photo No. 47487

BH Photo #269107


This lost five panel Pratt pony truss bridge on State Route 42 east of Birdeye over St Francis Bay was scheduled for replacement in the mid-1940s by the Arkansas Highway Department in association with a Memphis District US Army Corps of Engineers project to ditch and straighten the section of St Francis Bay that it spans. In anticipation of replacing this bridge with a longer span, the Memphis District acquired a 180' Pratt through truss in 1941 from the Missouri Highway Department. That bridge (J21, BH 22796) had an unusually mobile history. It was first built and used by the Missouri Pacific RR - at an unknown location. It was then moved and re-erected over the St Francis River at Greenville Mo. in 1909 for use by the W G & St L RR. It remained in use as a railroad structure until 1918 - when it was abandoned by the bankrupt railroad. The Missouri Highway Department then acquired that abandoned truss in 1930 and had it widened 6' and built new concrete approach spans - and rerouted US 67 along the former railroad alignment. The truss was used as the main span of that Route 67 bridge from 1931-1941. The Memphis District then acquired the truss in 1941 from the Missouri Highway Dept. after they paid to have a new Route 67 bridge (J21R) built at Greenville at a higher elevation following construction of the Wappapello Dam. In 1944, this 5 panel bridge washed away during a flood before the replacement had been built. A temporary timber pile bridge was put in place to keep the highway open and in 1945 the replacement bridge was relocated from Greenville Mo. and was erected by the J. P. McNulty Co. over the St Francis Bay Ditch on a new straighter upstream alignment. While in Arkansas Highway Department system, that replacement bridge was known as bridge No. 2011.

plans for the replacement show the original location of this bridge, at a point about 350' down stream from the current highway alignment and bridge. Original plans for this bridge may exist in the archives of the Arkansas Highway Department. http://www.arkansashighways.com/historic_bridge/State%20High...


Pratt pony truss bridge over St Francis Bay Ditch on State Route 42
Cross County, Arkansas
Bridge was washed off its foundation during a a flood in 1944
Washed off its foundation and dropped into the channel during a flood in 1944.
Five panel Pratt pony truss
Total length: 225.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.35843, -90.65098   (decimal degrees)
35°21'30" N, 90°39'04" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/713432/3915325 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 9 N., R. 4 E., SE 1/4 Sec 34
209.5 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 58526 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


Arkansas (1,765)
Cross County, Arkansas (15)
Destroyed by flood (615)
Lost (28,575)
Lost 1944 (23)
Lost during 1940s (494)
Owned by state (16,567)
Pony truss (17,024)
Pratt pony truss (3,955)
Pratt truss (10,317)
Total length 175-250 feet (4,481)
Truss (35,529)

Update Log 

  • June 30, 2015: New photo from Rusty Weisman
  • June 18, 2015: New photo from Rusty Weisman
  • June 16, 2015: New photos from Rusty Weisman
  • October 29, 2013: New photo from Rusty Weisman
  • October 24, 2013: Added by Rusty Weisman

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  • Rusty Weisman