5 votes

ASV - Smoky Hill River Bridge


Photo taken by Chris Guenzler

BH Photo #292614


Likely the original bridge at this location, constructed when the Rock Island built here in 1887

A collection of nearly identical Lattice Trusses 

Written by Robert Elder

The Lattice truss, with its many variations, is a common design for both metal and wooden covered bridges. Many of the metal Lattice through truss bridges, which were undoubtedly built by different firms, feature a variety of portal bracing styles.

In Kansas, the most common Lattice truss configuration is the Triple Intersectional Lattice truss. The triple intersectional layout is rare on a national scale. Unlike most Lattice trusses in Kansas, this bridge is a Quadrangular Lattice truss. This is the only known Quadrangular Lattice truss in Kansas, although on a national scale, the Quadrangular layout is much more common than the Triple Intersectional layout.

A few of these bridges, most of them in South Dakota, feature pedimented portal bracing with perforated knee bracing. I have often referred to this design by the phrase "Pedimented and Porforated Portal Bracing.

Jason Smith was able to located a plaque on the Riverdale Park Pedestrian Bridge http://bridgehunter.com/sd/minnehaha/bh36190/ which indicates that the bridge was built by M. Lassig of Chicago, Illinois. M. Lassig was likely associated with the Lassig Bridge and Ironworks, also based in Chicago.


Lattice through truss bridge over Smoky Hill River on Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad in Enterprise
Enterprise, Dickinson County, Kansas
Open to traffic
Built Ca. 1887, Rehabilitated 2014
- Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago, Illinois (Likely Builder)
- Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad (ASV)
- Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP (1866-1920); RI (1920-1975) ROCK (1975-1980))
- Oklahoma, Kansas & Texas Railroad (OKT)
Two span Lattice through truss
Length of largest span: 115.0 ft.
Total length: 395.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.90769, -97.12591   (decimal degrees)
38°54'28" N, 97°07'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/662497/4308202 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 39837 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 19, 2022: New photo from Stewart Edwin Beitler
  • March 10, 2017: New photos from John Marvig
  • January 27, 2015: Updated by Luke: Noted rehab per forum comment
  • December 28, 2011: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Design. This appears to be a Quadruple Intersectional Lattice Truss
  • June 9, 2010: Essay added by Robert Elder
  • June 8, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Categories - bridge does not appear to be owned federally.
  • February 11, 2009: Added by Robert Elder


  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Luke
  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Stewart Edwin Beitler - stubear0430 [at] gmail [dot] com


ASV - Smoky Hill River Bridge
Posted September 19, 2022, by Luke

Postcard is of a Santa Fe bridge. This is a Rock Island bridge

ASV - Smoky Hill River Bridge
Posted November 20, 2020, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I reached out and found some records for the Chicago, Kansas & Nebraska Railroad, who built this line in 1887. As part of the documents that were found, notes are made about the cost of each type of bridge and the different lengths used. The notes do show this size lattice truss. It appears that this truss, the abandoned truss near Woodbine (http://bridgehunter.com/ks/dickinson/bh67547/) and several stone arches in this area are all original to the 1887 construction. Notes were made that all steel bridges were delivered to Kansas City, but did not note a contractor.

ASV - Smoky Hill River Bridge
Posted January 27, 2015, by Nicole Beck (prairieroads06 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Posted May 9, 2014 on the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad's Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ASVRR1:

"The bridge and approach have been repaired and ready for traffic. This Saturday, May 10 will be the first run across the Smoky Hill River since last fall."

The dedicated members of the ASVRR saved this bridge!

Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad Bridge
Posted June 8, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

An essay is coming...stay tuned...

Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad Bridge
Posted June 8, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This link has four photographs of this bridge:


This double-span, triple-intersectional Lattice through truss features pedimented portal bracing in addition to a rare design of perforated knee bracing. The laced diagonal members are another unique feature of the bridge. If you click on the link, notice the unique diagonal bracing on the top panels of the truss.

This is definitely a bridge that I need to research...