3 votes

Babocomari Ranch Bridge


Babocomari Ranch Bridge

100+ years apart technologically. I'd approached the bridge from the west and did not cross due to excessive vegetation.

Photo taken by Hugh Forrest Wolfe (forrest fotography) in July 2018


BH Photo #447080


Pratt through truss bridge over Babocomari Wash on West Railroad Drive
Cochise County, Arizona
Open to authorized vehicles only. On private (posted) property, please ask if wanting to visit.
- Phoenix Bridge Co. of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
- New Mexico & Arizona Railroad (NM&A)
- Southern Pacific Railroad (SP)
2 span Phoenix Column Pratt through truss
Also called
New Mexico & Arizona Railroad - Babocomari Wash Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+31.63604, -110.42557   (decimal degrees)
31°38'10" N, 110°25'32" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
12/554472/3500237 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Mustang Mountains
Inventory number
BH 61047 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 7, 2019: New photos from Hugh Forrest Wolfe
  • May 24, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Mapped, appears to be open to traffic as a road.
  • May 24, 2014: Added by Art Suckewer



Babocomari Ranch Bridge
Posted May 10, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Hugh, How did you visit this bridge? It is listed as private, and fences appear to block the road some distance from the bridge to the east and west. Did you contact the owners in advance, or just knock on the door of a house? Any tips you can give for others who may wish to visit this bridge would be appreciated.

Babocomari Ranch Bridge
Posted May 8, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)


Not going to disagree that the truss probably was originally fabricated about 1880. However, it seems the 1882 date comes from the original construction of the line. I would expect the original bridge on this route to have been a wooden bridge. I can't tell if the substructures of this structure are concrete or stone, and I can't tell if the floor has been reconstructed. However, based on the California bridges, it seems probable that these spans were sent here from another location, possibly in the 20th century.

Poking around a bit, I measured these spans to be 80 feet (approximately) from Google Earth. I also found this document, which lists a pair of 80 foot spans on the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio (the same company that built those California trusses) at the Chacin and Franco Rivers (page 13). These appear to be the only similar sized trusses listed in the records for that railroad, although I am not sure if the record is complete.


My next steps will be to contact the Hagley Library (https://www.hagley.org/research) which houses the Phoenix Bridge Co records. Ca. 1918 bridge records for the NM&A are located at the National Archives, as are records for the GH&SA. Hopefully these three sources can shed some light on this bridge.

Babocomari Ranch Bridge
Posted May 8, 2019, by Daniel

I thought Gualala and Haupt Creek were 1880, so this being 1882 seems reasonable.

Babocomari Ranch Bridge
Posted May 7, 2019, by John Marvig

Wow!! This one is special! On a side note, is the 1882 date confirmed? Generally, first generation structures on railroads like this were wooden trusses or trestles. These trusses appear to be possibly older than 1882, and could’ve been moved from a larger crossing. This truss has design features similar to the Gualala Road Bridge in California.

Babocomari Ranch Bridge
Posted May 7, 2019, by Tom Hoffman

This ones neat! Its obviously very old.

Babocomari Ranch Bridge
Posted May 7, 2019, by Daniel

Wow. While there are some Phoenix Column bridges still in use here in CA, I don't know of any that're multi span. I wonder how original the bent is.

Babocomari Ranch Bridge
Posted May 24, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
Babocomari Ranch Bridge
Posted May 24, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)