1 vote

Smiley Bayou Bridge



Photo taken by AHTD

BH Photo #122494



Abandoned through truss bridge over Smiley Bayou on CR 54
Yell County, Arkansas
Built 1924 by the International Steel & Iron Co.
- International Steel & Iron Co. of Evansville, Indiana
Riveted, 7-panel Pratt through truss, plus 3 attached ponies with one missing
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.15944, -93.13917   (decimal degrees)
35°09'34" N, 93°08'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/487325/3890733 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 6 N., R. 20 W., Sec. 20
293 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 37273 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 3, 2009: Updated by Gene McCluney: corrected road number
  • February 1, 2009: New photos from John Cross
  • October 4, 2008: Updated by Randall Houp
  • October 3, 2008: New photos from Wayne Kizziar
  • September 24, 2008: Posted GPS coordinates
  • August 26, 2008: New photo from AHTD
  • August 23, 2008: Added by James Baughn


  • AHTD
  • James Baughn - webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com
  • Wayne Kizziar - waynekizziar [at] gmail [dot] com
  • John Cross - jcrossiam [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Gene McCluney - gmacfilm [at] live [dot] com


Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted March 1, 2019, by Zane Lile (arkieguide [at] centurylink [dot] com)

Is there a place left to put a boat in Smiley bayou ? Have not been there to fish in several years. The question where it is try cr54.

Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted November 23, 2011, by chris dotson (dotson15 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

if anyone has questions about how to get to the bridge or wants me to show them i can and will do...i live close and played around the bridge when i was a kid. feel free to email me if u have any questions.

Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted May 28, 2010, by Nathan (teaffns [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I went over to see the bridge one day....but was unable to due to the No trespassing signs. Does anyone know a way to get in there and not get in trouble. Thanks

Smiley Bayou Bridge- Westside
Posted February 1, 2009, by John Cross (jcross [at] fortsmithhome [dot] com)

Update "from the west side". When Randall, Fred, Gene and I visited Smiley Bayou in 2007, Gene and I knew our photos were not what we wanted and as we say "we'll have to come back". So we finally did. It was a beautiful day and as we shot a number of photos of other bridges in the am I worried the water level and swampiness would be too much to get there. We decided our first attempt would be from the south coming in from AR 7 on (my Delorme listing) CR302 to CR55 and turning north on CR54. We made it on CR54 less than 4000 feet before the road becomes passible only on foot or four wheeler. The trail opens back up to what was the road, and it is blocked a number of times by fallen trees and overgrowth- but is relatively clear considering how long we belive it has been abandon. We hiked about 1/2 mile north to find the bridge.My maps don't show it, but I believe that CR97 came directly in from the West to the bridge site. It now stops about 1/2 mile short. I assume as we have seen on many bridges- the reason for abandonment was not bridge insufficiency, but that the approach roads were too low and or swampy that they could not be maintained adequately. Gene guesses and I think he may be right that the bridge was probably abandon in or around the 1960s. If anyone has further facts on the bridge, roads and settlement- I would love to hear them.

Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted October 9, 2008, by Wayne Kizziar (wayne1701 [at] cableone [dot] com)


I first ran across the terminology on Wes Kinsler's Oklahoma bridges website http://okbridges.wkinsler.com/ and was curious too so I did a little web research on it. I have heard them called everything from generic "piers" ,caissons, and boiler-plate columns. When I saw them called Lally columns and found out the origin of the word I thought "Hey I like that !" Glad to be of help.


Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted October 8, 2008, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)


Thanks for the info. I had never heard this term before, but am facinated by your story and may have to look more into it. Many bridges in Indiana were built on Caissons, but they were an inexpensive alternative to abutments. Caissons could also only be used where conditions were right. Like many things, these terms might be regional in usage.


Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted October 7, 2008, by Wayne Kizziar (wayne1701 [at] cableone [dot] net)

A lally column is an architectural term for a long, round, steel pipe oriented vertically to provide support to beams or timbers stretching over long spans. Lally columns are typically positioned in the middle of the span to bear the weight of the structure, and to reduce the tendency of the structure to sag or flex. The lally column is usually, but not always, filled with concrete to provide additional rigidity and strength. The lally column is named after an Irish inventor, John Lally, who owned a construction company that started production of these columns in the late 1800s.


Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted October 6, 2008, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)


Just noticed on one of your pictures of this bridge the term "Lally Column". Just wondering where this came from, and is it commonly used in that region. We just refer to them as Caissons. Just curious.


Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted October 6, 2008, by Wayne Kizziar (wayne1701 [at] cableone [dot] net)

You are a brave man Randall & a dedicated bridge hunter. I was not about to "tightrope" it across. I did do the balancing act one time on a deck-less bridge and that cured me from trying again:) Keep up the good work .


Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted October 4, 2008, by Randall Houp (ghostbridgehunter [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Hey Wayne,

Good photos. I walked across this bridge along with the 2 ponies on the west side. No floor at all, but my reward was some great photos from the west side looking back east.

Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted September 28, 2008, by Charles Bowden (mtmn96 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Thanks guys, James the webmaster sent me a map that showed me where this crossing and Smiley Bayou are. Glad to have the support of other Bridge enthusiasts'.

Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted September 27, 2008, by Randall Houp (ghostbridgehunter [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Gene McClunney, John Cross, Fred Garcia and myself visited and photographed this bridge in October 2007. Not the easiest bridge to get to. The bridge was built in 1924, not in 1923! It contained the main pass-thru truss and had a pony on the east side, (that has disappeared somewhere), and on the west side are two ponies still connected. This bridge was in a contract signed by then Yell County Judge T.E. Wilson and also included 3 other pony bridges to be built elsewhere in Yell County. The 1924 bridge replaced an old all wooden bridge constructed by Yell County in the late 1800s and was later condemned when it became rotten. Smiley Bayou named after Robert Smiley an early settler of that area and one of the bridge commissioners for the first Smiley Bayou bridge. He died before the all wood structure was completed and was buried at the Brearley Cemetery in Dardanelle. Writing a complete story on this bridge for the Yell County Historian. More to follow guys........

Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted September 26, 2008, by Wayne Kizziar (wayne1701 [at] cableone [dot] net)

Charles I think Daniel has pegged the spot. If you go to Google maps, satellite view , and zoom in on the area he indicated you can see something that looks very much like a bridge. It is hard to see clearly but it is a very uniform shape and the shadows on the water look like trusses. I have been thinking of looking for this bridge myself soon. Keep us updated on what you find, good luck.

Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted September 25, 2008, by Daniel Arnold (oak_grove99 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Smiley Bayou runs from the south side of Holla Bend NWR north-west past Dardanelle to the north side of Mount Nebo.

I don't see a CR 5 on my map, but there is an oddly-broken road on my map which doesn't cross Smiley Bayou about 4 miles north-east of Centerville. See if that's it.

Smiley Bayou Bridge
Posted September 24, 2008, by Charles Bowden (mtmn96 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I would like to see this bridge, but do not recognize Smiley Bayou or CR 5. Does anyone know where in Yell county this bridge is located?