3 votes

Branch Missouri River Bridge


Photo taken by Robert Elder


BH Photo #110257


Probably built locally using parts reused from other bridges. Now relocated to a park.


Pony truss bridge over a branch of Missouri River, 1.2 mi. east of Doniphan
Doniphan County, Kansas
Replaced but relocated and open to pedestrians in new location.
Built ca. 1920
Kingpost pony truss
Length of largest span: 34.1 ft.
Total length: 35.1 ft.
Deck width: 20.3 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Doniphan County Waddell Truss Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.64397, -95.05382   (decimal degrees)
39°38'38" N, 95°03'14" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/323772/4390257 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Atchison NE
Land survey
T. 5 S., R. 21 E., Sec. 3
Average daily traffic (as of 2005)
Inventory numbers
KS 000221063203487 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 17684 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2012)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Imminent Failure (1 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 37 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


Built during 1920s (10,349)
Doniphan County, Kansas (28)
FrankenBridge (7)
Kansas (3,280)
Kingpost truss (214)
Lost (30,581)
NR-listed (3,025)
Owned by county (21,819)
Pony truss (17,334)
Replaced by new bridge (20,813)
Span length 25-50 feet (16,384)
Structurally deficient (12,664)
Total length 25-50 feet (11,630)
Truss (37,265)
Wooden deck (6,228)

Update Log 

  • January 22, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Adjusted GPS Coordinates
  • June 24, 2009: Updated by Robert Elder



Branch Missouri River Bridge
Posted July 19, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have added a PDF that discusses the relocation of this bridge. The PDF does not mention that this is a "Frankenbridge", even though that fact is quite obvious as Nathan has pointed out.

Branch Missouri River Bridge
Posted April 7, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge gets a special mention in the initial Metal Truss Bridges of Kansas Multiple Property Listing. It would appear that this bridge at the time was erroneously considered a true Waddell Truss instead of a knock-off designed by a creative County Engineer.


Please note that some information in this listing is out of date now.

Branch Missouri River Bridge
Posted June 13, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Robert... Funny you mention Eggner Ferry because that was another trip I did with similar parameters.

Branch Missouri River Bridge
Posted June 13, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Sounds good. I have done the same thing when visiting a new area. Ie - my 11th hour trip to the Eggners Ferry Bridge last year.

Branch Missouri River Bridge
Posted June 13, 2016, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


I didn't make it to the stone arch... this was my first visit to the area so I only focused on very particular bridges... especially given this trip was multi-state and done in conjunction with other activities notably the SIA conference. I will post a "sample gallery" when I get it done.

Branch Missouri River Bridge
Posted June 12, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)


I am glad you were able to study these Doniphan County bridges in detail. I look forward to seeing your photos.

If you made it to the Charlie Creek Bridge, (the skewed stone arch) I would be interested to know if it is extant. I have heard conflicting reports and aerial imagery is outdated.

Branch Missouri River Bridge
Posted June 12, 2016, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Field visited this bridge June 2016. Photos to eventually/someday end up on HistoricBridges.org. The coordinates I had guessed in my previous post are essentially correct for the new location: 39.788167, -95.094667. What was remarkable about this bridge is that I haven't seen any mention during the relocation media coverage that this is a "FrankenBridge" pieced together from some other bridge. It certainly is one of the most unique bridges I have ever seen, but its certainly not the work of Mr. Waddell himself! This bridge has so many empty rivet holes on the top chord it looks like swiss cheese. It was at least partly put together from parts of a pin-connected truss, since the base of the end post has a now-unused pin plate present. Even the gusset plates are fashioned from old plates, it is clear they are cut with a cutting torch, and on sections unused rivet holes are visible, even along cut lines. This reuse project obviously occurred long ago during the riveted era, since all the "new" work is riveted.

I should also add the thought that it is probably a mistake to assume that all the parts on this bridge are from the same bridge. I visited several bridges in this region that were reused from other bridge parts. I think it was just a unique thing this region/county did. They may have stockpiled all the trusses they removed for parts. I even found bridge parts at an intersection (190th Road and Randolph) where a truss part was holding up a stop sign. In the background riveted angles being used for something are also visible.

Branch Missouri River Bridge
Posted May 2, 2016, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The new location must be over this ditch around this area (which appears to be the community park mentioned) somewhere. 39.788167, -95.094667

The trusses were just reused as decorations.

Branch Missouri River Bridge
Posted May 1, 2016, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

Apparently this bridge has been relocated to a city park: