3 votes

Arkansas River Bridge


This abandoned, nine span, closed spandrel bridge crosses the Arkansas River on the west side of Arkansas City, Kansas north of US 166 The bridge is visible from 166

Photo taken by Robert Elder in February 2008


BH Photo #111522

Street View 



2016 flood visit clip


Abandoned closed-spandrel arch bridge over Arkansas River
Cowley County, Kansas
Built 1914
- Luten Bridge Co. of York, Pennsylvania & Knoxville, Tennessee
Closed-spandrel arch
Length of largest span: 60.0 ft.
Total length: 519.1 ft.
Deck width: 21.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.06356, -97.05782   (decimal degrees)
37°03'49" N, 97°03'28" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/672672/4103687 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Arkansas City
Land survey
T. 34 S., R. 3 E., Sec. 25 and 26
1060 ft. above sea level
Inventory numbers
KS 000180851007045 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 36222 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 18, 2022: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • March 14, 2021: New video from Nick Schmiedeler
  • April 24, 2020: Updated by Geoff Hubbs: 1914 built date comes from "Reinforced Concrete Bridges of Luten Design"
  • September 17, 2017: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • February 28, 2017: New photo from Nick Schmiedeler
  • October 1, 2016: Updated by Clark Vance: Build date and NBI info
  • May 17, 2014: New photos from Robert Brock
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Street View link
  • January 20, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Adjusted GPS Coordinates.
  • February 7, 2008: Added by Robert Elder


  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Rob Brock - k0pvw [dot] mobile [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs
  • Reinforced Concrete Bridges of Luten Design - Top of page 16 (Full of great color photos)


Arkansas River Bridge
Posted March 14, 2021, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Adding a short clip from 2016 flood visit


Arkansas River Bridge
Posted May 9, 2019, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge is being besieged by floodwaters. The Arkansas, Little Arkansas, Walnut, Whitewater, Ninnescah, Slate, and other streams are flooding right now. We could potentially lose some bridges in the region today.

Arkansas River Bridge
Posted February 28, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nick's photograph from September of 2016 really shows how bad the flooding was that month. The Arkansas, Walnut, Ninnescah, and Whitewater Rivers saw some moderate to major flooding during that time. The Whitewater and Walnut Rivers alone flooded three times in 2016. These rivers still have a population of historic bridges so I always worry when they flood.

None of the flood waters from the Whitewater and Walnut Rivers passed under this bridge because the Walnut River joins the Arkansas River downstream of Ark City. Thus, the water seen here came down the Arkansas, Little Arkansas, and Ninnescah Rivers. These rivers have a smaller population of historic bridges than the Walnut and Whitewater Rivers, althought this closed spandrel bridge is certainly vulnerable, especially given its poor condition.

I was afraid that we were going to lose some bridges in this flood and in truth I suspect that we almost did. As far as I know, they all held fast until that final flood took out a stone arch bridge on Grouse Creek and damaged a couple others on the Grouse Creek farther downstream.

In short, 2016 was a scary year for bridges in South Central Kansas. I am thankful we did not lose more than one as far as I know. The Arkansas River is crossed by some incredible bridges in Oklahoma but as far as I know they all survived.

Arkansas River Bridge
Posted November 25, 2009, by Wes Kinsler (wkinsler [at] wkinsler [dot] com)

Looks like it is a Luten arch.

Arkansas River Bridge
Posted October 17, 2008, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Eric is correct. The photos were uploaded in February 2008 and I must not have changed the default date. I will need to check the date that the photos were taken, but it was likely in June of 2004.

Arkansas River Bridge
Posted October 16, 2008, by Eric

I don't think these photos were taken in February. The grass is a little green for that time of year.