2 votes

Silver Creek Sec. 3 Truss Bridge


Photo taken by Nick Schmiedeler in September 2017


BH Photo #401936



Pony truss bridge over Silver Creek on a local road north of Cameron City
Cowley County, Kansas
Open to traffic
Built ca. 1910
Parker pony truss
Length of largest span: 88.9 ft.
Total length: 108.9 ft.
Deck width: 19.7 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.11522, -96.86798   (decimal degrees)
37°06'55" N, 96°52'05" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/689423/4109781 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Maple City
Land survey
T. 34 S., R. 5 E., Sec. 3
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory numbers
KS 000180871506969 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 17642 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of February 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 38 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


Built during 1910s (9,710)
Cowley County, Kansas (68)
Kansas (3,202)
Open (40,040)
Owned by county (20,939)
Parker pony truss (383)
Parker truss (1,696)
Pin-connected (3,943)
Pony truss (16,308)
Span length 75-100 feet (6,464)
Total length 100-125 feet (5,195)
Truss (33,127)

Update Log 

  • September 8, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • September 8, 2017: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • June 18, 2015: Updated by Royce and Bobette Haley: to do list


  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com


Silver Creek Sec. 3 Truss Bridge
Posted September 11, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)


Good thought concerning the similar bridges in Oklahoma. The only major difference I can see is this one has every panel countered whereas the Oklahoma examples do not seem to have those extra counters. The lacing on the verticals varies a bit between the trusses as well. Otherwise, the bridges are certainly very similar. The idea that a truss could have been moved across the state line seems quite plausible.

Also, for those who might not be familiar with this area, Cowley County preferred to use Stone Arch Bridges instead of truss bridges for small crossings. In the early 1900s, the county would have been much more likely to have installed a Stone Arch Bridge instead of a truss bridge at this location. The Silver Creek and Grouse Creek valleys were popular locations for Stone Arch Bridges to be installed so a truss bridge looks a little bit out of place here.

When looking at the concrete substructure on this bridge, I begin to wonder if it might have been moved to this area sometime around World War II perhaps.

Silver Creek Sec. 3 Truss Bridge
Posted September 11, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This is an interesting find. Note how close it is to Oklahoma. Well, there are (or were) nearly identical examples in Oklahoma of this same style. So I'm not sure if its the design of a builder, or if its a state design that moved over state lines.




Silver Creek Sec. 3 Truss Bridge
Posted September 9, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler

wo....very cool !!

Silver Creek Sec. 3 Truss Bridge
Posted September 8, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Great Find! This one is worthy of a wall of text!

Seriously, this bridge is a bit more significant than you might think. At first glance, it just looks like a pin connected Parker pony truss. Indeed, it is a pin connected Parker Pony Truss.

That being said, this one has at least one rare detail; it features an inclined, or you might say polygonal, bottom cord. Most bottom chords are flat and parallel to the deck. This bottom chord is neither because it is inclined at the end panels.

The bridge has a couple other interesting features as well. For one thing, the top chord features five slopes. This means that it is a true Camelback Truss. The Camelback configuration is less common than a standard Parker Truss. In addition, every full panel on this bridge is countered.

The Kansas default date of Circa 1910 is probably not far off in this case. I doubt that it's newer than 1910 or at least not much newer. On the other hand, I have my doubts that it is pre 1900 because from what I can tell, Parker trusses did not become widespread until about 1900.

My suspicion is that this bridge was probably built sometime between 1900 and 1910. On the other hand, perhaps it could potentially be as old as Circa 1890 or as new as Circa 1915, but for now I won't argue too much with the Kansas default date of Circa 1910.

Silver Creek Sec. 3 Truss Bridge
Posted September 8, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler

pretty one, great elevation.....despite map, this road turns private about 100 yds north and there is no thru-connection traveling in that direction