6 votes

Old River Bridge



Photo taken August 2001 by Wayne Kizziar

BH Photo #100999


Two-span through truss bridge over Saline River on the Old Military Road near Benton
Benton, Saline County, Arkansas
December 2021: In storage with shop restoration phase of multi-phase preservation project underway. Bridge to eventually be returned to this location.
Built 1891 by the Youngstown Bridge Co. of Youngstown, Ohio; closed to traffic in 1974
- BACH Steel of St. Johns, Michigan (2021 Shop Restoration)
- Youngstown Bridge Co. of Youngstown, Ohio
Two pin-connected, 6-panel Pratt through trusses with a wooden deck
Length of largest span: 130.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 15, 1977
Approximate latitude, longitude
+34.54087, -92.60694   (decimal degrees)
34°32'27" N, 92°36'25" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/536066/3822199 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
NRHP 77000277 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 10559 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 1, 2021: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated status.
  • September 29, 2021: Updated by Nathan Holth: Corrected bridge construction date from 1899 to 1891, per detailed HAER History.
  • May 12, 2012: New photo from Cody Lewis
  • May 17, 2008: New photos from Wayne Kizziar



Old River Bridge
Posted May 7, 2019, by William McFadden (jeeper360 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

It looks like phase 1 has been completed. The bridge has been removed.

Old River Bridge Restoration
Posted July 24, 2018, by E Allen H Blackwood (eblackwo [at] gmail [dot] com)

Work has started in the restoration of this bridge, which is estimated to cost $2.8 million.

See: https://bentoncourier.com/content/efforts-restore-river-brid...

You can also see pictures and more information about the organization which was founded to preserve the bridge, etc at: https://www.salinecrossing.com/ (Photos from May 2018: https://www.salinecrossing.com/photos)

Old River Bridge
Posted September 2, 2016, by Cyndi Riley (cyndiriley13 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited the Old River Bridge on 27 Aug 2016.

These photos are from the Benton and Haskell side.

Old River Bridge
Posted July 5, 2016, by Sabrina (nakamura [dot] serena [at] gmail [dot] com)

Any updates on if or when they plan on restoring this bridge?

Old River Bridge
Posted February 17, 2016, by david (dcg [dot] 1380 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Taken 2/17/16

Old River Bridge
Posted January 4, 2016, by david (dcg [dot] 1380 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I REALLY dont like this idea of take the bridge down and wait till they have funds to put it back up... also they are saying that this bridge was built in 1891 instead of 99

Old River Bridge
Posted December 15, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


That's great news! Do you know who is doing the rehab or any further details?


Art S.

Old River Bridge
Posted December 14, 2015, by Melissa L Jones (jonespbc [at] mac [dot] com)

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that $500,000 has been given to begin the rehabilitation of the bridge, which will become part of the Saline Crossing Regional Park and eventually will become part of the pedestrian Southwest Trail from Little Rock to Hot Springs.

The group working to restore the bridge is Saline Crossing Inc. (salinecrossing.com).

Here is the article, though a subscription or answering a survey may be required to read it.


Old River Bridge
Posted September 20, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
Old River Bridge
Posted April 5, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Here is an article about the plans for this bridge and area:


Old River Bridge
Posted March 17, 2013, by Carla Hardwick (hardwick [at] creationsensation [dot] com)

http://www.facebook.com/SalineCrossing?ref=ts&fref=ts For the latest information about efforts to preserve the bridge and build a regional park on the location, join this facebook page.

There will be an event to raise awareness of the bridge in May, 2013 with tours of the land set aside around the bridge for the park.

Old River Bridge
Posted May 12, 2012, by Cody Lewis (lewismulisha [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Phillip: It is a restricted area, however when I asked a policeman for directions, he said it's tucked down in the woods and nobody ever calls the cops. He said that the police don't even patrol down there because it's not city property, it's Union Pacific Property.

Old River Bridge
Posted October 14, 2011, by Phillip (Phillip1743 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Tried to visit this bridge today, I notice the roads are blocked off at least river street was. Does anyone know if this area is prohibited? Thought about going past the gate on foot, but decided not to. Is there another way to get down there?

Old River Bridge
Posted March 10, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

A group supporting preservation invites the public to a tour of this bridge: http://www.bentoncourier.com/content/view/254483/1/

Old River Bridge
Posted May 13, 2010, by Jenna (jenna [at] thomasins [dot] net)

I went down to the bridge this afternoon. After seeing an article about trying to make it a historic site and reusable earlier this year, I've been curious about what it looks like. It would take a lot of work to make it reuseable again. It is beautiful down there though.

Old River Bridge
Posted July 18, 2009, by bradley widding (widding [at] gmail [dot] com)

visted this bridge for the first time 7.18.09 from the benton side. i understand you can no longer approach from the haskel side as it has been blocked off. people have been vandalizing the pump station. most of the deck is gone. some areas are even starting to collapse. you cannot get "onto" the bridge itself as the approach is gone. the thing that struck me about the bridge is its size and height. it's massive.

Old River Bridge
Posted February 24, 2007, by Fred Garcia (fandsgarcia [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited this bridge 29 October 2006 about 5:30 pm. Not able to get on bridge itself, but there is a RR bridge about 100 yds. downstream that I crossed to the other side for additional pictures. It's a little weedy around the north approach and some of the trestle is still in place which is another good spot to take photos of the deck.

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

Old River Bridge
Posted December 1, 2005, by Robert W. Scoggin (robert [dot] scoggin [at] arkansashighways [dot] com)

This bridge was used in the movie Slingblade, another Billy Bob Thornton movie.