2 votes

1st Street Mill Canal Bridge


Photo taken by Robert Elder in July 2010


BH Photo #169684

Street Views 


Steel stringer bridge over Mill Canal on 1st. Street
Arkansas City, Cowley County, Kansas
Open to traffic
Built 1935
Inclined through concrete girder
Length of largest span: 40.0 ft.
Total length: 80.1 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Also called
Mill Canal Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.05278, -97.03972   (decimal degrees)
37°03'10" N, 97°02'23" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/674306/4102524 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Arkansas City
Average daily traffic (as of 2008)
Inventory number
BH 45647 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 44 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • May 27, 2013: Updated by Clark Vance: Added categories "Brick road", "Concrete inset railing"
  • May 27, 2013: New Street View added by Robert Elder
  • July 15, 2010: New photos from Robert Elder
  • July 14, 2010: Added by Robert Elder


  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com


1st Street Mill Canal Bridge
Posted May 29, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks for the input, everybody.

1st Street Mill Canal Bridge
Posted May 28, 2013, by Nathan Holth

In other states I am familiar with, concrete encasement of steel stringer bridges, sometimes even just the fascia beams, was not uncommon in the 1920s and 1930s. Without the view underneath, my vote is that may be what is going on here.

1st Street Bridge
Posted May 28, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Arkansas City vicinity has several small concrete bridges from the early 1900s. They tend to cross small "canals" in the town. I am going to try to sort out the bridges and add them to bridgehunter.

Note: For those not from the area, the town name is pronounced arKANSAS City, not ARkansaw City. Most locals call it "Ark City."

1st Street Bridge
Posted May 28, 2013, by Matt Lohry

I strongly agree with Clark; you will never know for sure without a look underneath...also, I would venture to say, looking at the thickness of the portions on the side of the bridge under the railings, that the NBI is probably correct...if this were a slab of that thickness, it would be so heavy that no substructure would ever be able to support it; these portions are most likely concrete facades that hide the stringers. The railings seem to be sitting on top of this portion rather than being part of the superstructure as a whole, possibly eliminating the through-girder option as well. It looks to me like the railings do not contribute to the structural strength of the bridge...I would bet that it is indeed a steel stringer, or possibly a concrete T-beam bridge...

1st Street Bridge
Posted May 27, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Through girder, slab, beam, stringer--it's like determining the gender of a rabbit--you need to take a look underneath.

I need to look in my vintage concrete design books to see if there's an easy way to determine visually whether the railing contributes structurally. I don't recall seeing anything.

It's very nice to see this classic small town bridge from the early days of "modern" roads.

1st Street Bridge
Posted July 14, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I will be uploading photographs of this bridge in the near future. For now, I have added Street View.

Although NBI classifies this bridge as a steel stringer, I believe that it is a concrete through girder. As always, any feedback is welcome.