5 votes

UP - Baring Cross Bridge



Photo taken by David Miles

BH Photo #100904


Street View 


Vertical-lift railroad bridge over the Arkansas River in Little Rock on the Union Pacific Railroad
Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas
Open to two tracks of railroad traffic
Built 1929, Lift span added 1971
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- Missouri Pacific Railroad (MP)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Vertical lift Warren through truss
Also called
MoPac - Baring Cross Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+34.75466, -92.28168   (decimal degrees)
34°45'17" N, 92°16'54" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/565743/3846071 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
North Little Rock
Inventory number
BH 10532 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 2, 2020: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • June 15, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • August 30, 2013: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • October 1, 2012: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Added category "Railroad"
  • September 30, 2012: New photos from Wayne Kizziar
  • February 16, 2011: Added by David Backlin
  • February 23, 2010: Updated by David Backlin: Added GPS coordinates
  • February 13, 2006: Posted photos from David Miles

Related Bridges 


  • David Miles - imchillindave [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Gene McCluney - gmacfilm [at] live [dot] com
  • David Backlin - us71 [at] cox [dot] net
  • Wayne Kizziar - waynekizziar [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Douglas Butler
  • Geoff Hubbs


UP - Baring Cross Bridge
Posted April 2, 2020, by Luke

Definitely a shoofly bridge.

UP - Baring Cross Bridge
Posted April 2, 2020, by Geoff Hubbs (geoffrey [dot] hubbs [at] att [dot] net)

My guess it was a temporary bridge while the lift span was being installed; it disappears from topos by 1975

UP - Baring Cross Bridge
Posted April 2, 2020, by Alan Wray (alancwray [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

Anyone have any idea about the side bridge next to it from the early 1970s?

Baring Cross Bridge
Posted December 13, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The vertical lift span has on the southern endpost an American Bridge plaque with 1971 on it. So the approach spans are American Bridge fabricated in 1928, and the lift span was built in 1971.

Baring Cross Bridge
Posted April 6, 2010, by Alan Wray (alancwray [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

A better pic of the flood

Baring Cross Bridge
Posted April 6, 2010, by Alan Wray (alancwray [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

More pics

Baring Cross Bridge
Posted April 6, 2010, by Alan Wray (alancwray [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

A couple old pics..

Baring Cross Bridge
Posted October 16, 2009, by Alan Wray (alancwray [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

More old pics to come

Baring Cross Bridge
Posted December 13, 2008, by Gene McCluney (mccluney [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

From "The Arkansas News": The American Bridge Company of Chicago built the Baring Cross Bridge. They used Post’s patent truss design, a system that consisted of two fixed spans of 191 feet each, one fixed span of 183 feet, the draw—355 feet— which when open made two passageways of 160 feet each, and a fixed span of 60 feet.

The structure rested on cast iron cylinders sunk into bedrock 40 feet below the surface of the water and filled with stone and concrete. The draw was made of iron, the other spans of timber, with iron stays, bolts and braces. It cost $300,000 to build the Baring Cross Bridge at 1870s values.

Although the bridge designers planned a pedestrian and traffic roadway to go on top of the trusses of the railroad bridge, this feature was not completed until four years later in September 1877. This roadway was 23 feet wide, floored with 3 inch thick pine planking (which had been “Bumettized”—chemically treated with zinc chloride for protection) laid diagonally atop cypress chords. It was protected by high hand rails on each side.

The roadway was on a level approach from the Little Rock side of the bridge, but a 650 foot long inclined approach was needed on the Argenta (North Little Rock) side.

In the summer of 1 890, engineers discovered that the upper roadway had seriously deteriorated to the point of being dangerous. The cypress chords supporting the roadway had been crushed and splintered, dropping the highway floor several inches out of line. The Baring Cross Bridge closed for several months for repairs. Workmen replaced the wooden spans with a steel structure; they also removed the upper roadway and placed it on the same level as the truck floor.

For the next 37 years the Baring Cross Bridge served well the Cairo and Fulton Railroad, saw its merger with the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad, and in 1917, the sale of that railroad to the Missouri Pacific Lines. The Baring Cross Bridge was continually modernized and strengthened through-out this period as rail traffic increased, and longer and heavier loads were carried by rail.

Baring Cross Bridge
Posted December 13, 2008, by Gene McCluney (mccluney [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

From "The Encyclopedia of Arkansas" The original Baring Cross Bridge was a single-track bridge with a swing navigation span, and it was built with iron and wood. The bridge opened on December 21, 1873, to a large crowd of people. It consisted of four Howe Truss spans and one navigation swing span for a total length of 978 feet. In 1877, the Baring Cross Bridge Company constructed a highway deck on top of the bridge and charged tolls for its use by the public. In early 1886, the company rebuilt most of the bridge, with the exception of the piers, and lowered the highway deck to the same level as the rail.

Baring Cross Bridge
Posted November 13, 2007, by Robert W. Scoggin (robert [dot] scoggin [at] arkansashighways [dot] com)

The picture is misleading. The bridge is a metal truss. The approach spans area Pratt through trusses and the turn span is a Warren through truss. The wood seen on the pratts are supports for the roadway deck on top of the bridge. The roadway is the reason for the extra wood piers under the pratts. The roadway was removed around 1900 and the bridge stayed intacted until the late 1960s when the turnspan was replaced as part of the Arkansas River Nav. Project.

Baring Cross Bridge
Posted November 9, 2007, by Gene McCluney (mccluney [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

This was originally a wooden truss bridge with a swing span. Railroad traffic went thru the truss, and vehicle traffic on top of the truss.

Attached is a photo of the original bridge under construction.

Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.