6 votes

Park Avenue Bridge


Photo taken by Nick Schmiedeler in November 2021


BH Photo #511979

Street View 


Pony truss bridge over a drainage ditch on Park Avenue in Galva
Galva, McPherson County, Kansas
Open to traffic
Pin-connected, 2-panel half-hip Pratt pony truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.38099, -97.54058   (decimal degrees)
38°22'52" N, 97°32'26" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/627470/4249096 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 48767 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


2-panel truss (41)
Galva, Kansas (1)
Half-hip Pratt pony truss (565)
Have street view (28,881)
Kansas (3,269)
Laced endposts (165)
McPherson County, Kansas (30)
Open (40,960)
Owned by city (6,078)
Pin-connected (4,683)
Pony truss (17,004)
Pratt pony truss (3,947)
Pratt truss (10,282)
Truss (35,390)
Wooden deck (6,160)

Update Log 

  • November 14, 2021: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • May 13, 2011: Added by Sheldon Wiens



Park Avenue Bridge
Posted November 14, 2021, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Pleasantly surprised how incredibly solid and esthetically pleasing this one is in person, absolutely zero trace of any iron/steel mfg'er stamps or embossings, my wife and I combed over about every inch of it looking for one but no luck, still would love to hear why/how this thing was found elsewhere and chosen to serve these handful of homes in the cul-de-sac, guessing homes built 1960's at very earliest, seems like a simple puzzle to solve by county people or maybe older locals, absolutely noone out on the streets today, otherwise would've just asked

Park Avenue Bridge
Posted December 5, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I was hoping to visit this bridge on my recent trip to Kansas, but I didn't make it. Perhaps someone with the city might know where it came from. While I have seen numerous pin connected Pratt pony spans, I have not seen any exactly like this one. This is a true mystery bridge.

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 17, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks for the discussion everybody. This bridge definitely merits a visit to document its features. I would like to get some pics of the vertical members. Specifically, I would like to find out whether they are rolled members with spacers (unlikely) or if they are built-up members.

The three major things that I would like to find out (from either a visit or research) are:


Year built

Original location

I don't see any plaques on the bridge, but they can be well hidden. I am going to search the KSHS database to see if this bridge shows up in a neighboring county.

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 16, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Thanks guys for the clarification! That is indeed a very wild optical illusion of sorts, and I am glad to see the bridge has no damage.

A neat little bridge that should be rehabbed.

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 16, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

A few things to clear up.

First this is an awesome bridge!

Second, the bridge is not damaged, that is indeed distortion in Street View where the cameras are not lining up perfectly and also the blurring around the car below begins.

Thirdly, I consider this to be a Pratt. Warrens have diagonals that alternate in tension and compression from panel to panel, both diagonals here are instead in tension like a Pratt. Further, the bridge was built in an era and using methods where Pratts were more common. If this had been a three or four panel bridge it probably would have been a Pratt. However I do want to clarify that pin connected Warren truss bridges do exist. We have one in storage here in Michigan. They are however exceedingly rare. Here is another... note the alternation between tension eyebars and built-up compression beams in the diagonals: http://www.historicbridges.org/iowa/pheasant/

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 15, 2011, by Matt Lohry


I think the "damage" to the end post is actually a distortion in the street view. If you "drive" across to the other side and rotate the view to look at the same end post from the other side, the damage is gone. This is very fortunate, as it means that this bridge is still perfectly intact with no actual damage!

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Looking at the street view of this little span I see that the bottom of one of the double-laced endposts has suffered some major impact damage. One can only hope this unique span is not being subjected to unnecessary usage that might result in it's loss.

Would rather see then put a slab in it's place and move it to a park than loose it!

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

You have definitely got a winner here Sheldon!

No matter if you want to label it a Warren or a Pratt, it is a beauty and is a very old one at that. My gut feeling is that this is a simple 2-panel form of a Pratt truss, but I know the debate will go on.

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Matt Lohry

Here's what appears to be a pin-connected Warren pony truss also:


This goes against my pin-connected Pratt theory, but the diagonals are heavier than your typical pin-connected Pratt.

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Good thought concerning design. I do know of one Warren truss that was constructed using both riveted and pinned connections. It is/was a Milwaukee Bridge Works Product. It was extant in 1990 though in terrible condition. I am unaware of its current status.


And with photograph: http://khri.kansasgis.org/index.cfm?tab=details&in=085-0000-...

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Matt Lohry


It looks like you could park anywhere along the curb in the cul-de-sac on the west side of the bridge without hindering any traffic.

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Matt Lohry

I've always heard debate on this, and I think it's very subjective--seems that different folks see it different ways. I've always considered these types with pinned connections and diagonals much smaller than the upper chords to be Pratts--it seems to me that the bridges that I've seen like this that have diagonals that are closer in size to their upper chords would be Warren trusses to me. I'm not sure I've ever seen a pin-connected Warren truss, but I'm sure they're out there. I don't think that either answer is wrong.

Unnamed Creek Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Excellent - we will be glad to see some photographs.

I have searched the KSHS database for this bridge and have not found any records for it in McPherson County. It is possible that this bridge was not surveyed. It is also possible that it could have been moved in from another county or (less likely) even another state.

Also, a question for everybody...I have always considered this type of two-panel bridge to be a Warren pony as there is no middle panel with crossing diagonals. I have also heard of them being classified as a Pratt pony. Does anybody have any strong opinions on this? Should it be classified as its own unique structure type?

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Sure! This bridge I will be able to photograph. However, I just need to find a good parking spot that is close to the bridge when I go out and photograph. I might get to this bridge maybe next week because I go to McPherson every Thursday.

Unnamed Creek Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Also, ignore the Half-Star Bandit who likes to slam some of our bridges. He has also slammed some of mine. I gave your bridge 4 stars as it features laced endposts and topchords and is very possibly old enough to be constructed of wrought iron instead of steel.

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Matt Lohry

Sheldon, some detail shots of this beauty would be great to see! Very nice find!

Drainage Ditch Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Thank you! Yesterday, I drove past this bridge on my way to McPherson. And then this bridge caught my attention. So when I got home, I checked the McPherson County listing to see if this bridge was already listed. It wasn't - so I added it to the site. This is the best find of all the other bridges I posted.

Unnamed Creek Bridge
Posted May 13, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Good find, Sheldon! This is an interesting little pony truss. The laced endposts and laced top chord make me think that it could have possibly been built in the 1880s or 1890s and then moved to this subdivision recently.