7 votes

Onion Creek Bridge


West Side (Looking North)

Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #126914



Through truss bridge over Onion Creek on County Road 4500 west of Coffeyville
Montgomery County, Kansas
Bypassed with a new bridge and abandoned
Built 1911 by the Western Bridge Co.
- Western Bridge Co. of Harrisonville, Missouri
Pin-connected, 6-panel Bedstead Parker through truss with vertical endposts
Length of largest span: 102.0 ft.
Total length: 104.0 ft.
Deck width: 13.8 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 4, 1990
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.02587, -95.65624   (decimal degrees)
37°01'33" N, 95°39'22" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/263714/4101042 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Coffeyville West
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 89002172 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
KS 000631003007087 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 18185 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2017)
Overall condition: Good
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 87.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • July 30, 2017: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • March 1, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Adjusted GPS Coordinates.
  • January 30, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Design Description and Categories.
  • December 7, 2008: New photos from Rick Mattioni
  • November 2, 2008: New photos from James Baughn


  • HAER KS-8 - Onion Creek Bridge
  • James Baughn - webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com
  • Rick Mattioni
  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com


Onion Creek Bridge
Posted July 30, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I agree with the comments made by Nathan, Nick, and Tony. This one needs to be preserved, whether in place or in a park.

This bridge might be the only one of its kind anywhere in the United States and beyond.

Montgomery County has an incredible collection of historic bridges, and is a great Bridgehunter destination.

Onion Creek Bridge
Posted July 30, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is one that needs to be put at the top of the save list!

Looks like there are some parks in Coffeyville that it could be relocated to, it would be a shame to see it saved from demolition only to fall to neglect and Mother Nature!

Onion Creek Bridge
Posted July 30, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

It is good to have some recent photos on here. This bridge is on the national register of historic places and is hopefully safe from demolition. That being said, it is not safe from destruction by nature. The trees growing on and around this bridge are going to become a threat someday. This thing won't stand forever without maintenance.

Onion Creek Bridge
Posted July 30, 2017, by Nick Schmiedeler

Visited last week...unbelievably overgrown, had my share of ticks, chiggers and poison ivy that long bridgehunt weekend so didn't climb flimsy weed tree to get current shot of plaque, all but hidden from view otherwise. Otherwise, felt honored to be in the presence of such a unique and historic bridge. All things considered seems to be pretty solid...great one

Onion Creek Bridge
Posted January 26, 2017, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I will NEVER condemn any situation that avoids demolition of a bridge. Leaving a bridge abandoned next to replacement instead of demolishing it is ALWAYS better than demolition. That said, common sense needs to prevail. Either the bridge needs to be maintained or it needs to be made available for reuse to someone who WILL maintain it. I visited this bridge last year and its getting quite overgrown. Its almost impossible to get a photo of the builder plaque. Yet the county has made it quite clear that this bridge is NOT available to someone willing to relocate and preserve it. This is a problem.

Onion Creek Bridge
Posted May 29, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have placed this bridge into two newly created categories; Bedstead Parker truss and Bedstead through truss. Note that this bridge is a bedstead unlike the Long Shoals Bridge which simply features vertical endposts, but is not a bedstead. http://www.bridgehunter.com/ks/bourbon/long-shoals/

I created the new categories hoping that other bridges might be added, if there are any other bridges of this type.

Onion Creek Bridge
Posted January 30, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)


I had a look at the plaque on the Pipe Creek bridge, and it is appears that the Western Bridge Co. and the Stupp Brothers used a similar, and in some cases identical, plaques. I had not noticed this before.

As for this bridge, it has been listed on the NRHP, so that should give it some protection from demolition, but of course does not guarantee restoration.

Montgomery County has a nice collection of historic bridges, and four are NRHP listed. Thus, it appears that there has been some interest in the preservation of bridges within the county.

The three others include:

A 1926 four-span Marsh Arch http://www.bridgehunter.com/ks/montgomery/dewlen/

An 1871 two-span Bowstring http://www.bridgehunter.com/ks/montgomery/independence-bowst...

A 1911 single span closed-spandrel arch http://www.bridgehunter.com/ks/montgomery/630997206828/

Note that the closed-spandrel was built by the same company, in the same year as the Onion Creek Bridge.

Onion Creek Bridge
Posted January 30, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Wow Robert!.....It would appear that in the process of tearing out the approaches they uncovered a hidden treasure! I can't see them busting out the abutments and then "propping" the bridge up on crutches, so I would assume that this is indeed a Bedstead. I had looked at this bridge before, but being as there are some other Parkers with vertical endposts, I didn't think any more of it. I hope that historians in the area are made aware of just how significant this bridge is. I have seen many bedstead ponies that had their legs hidden in concrete.

In looking at the Western Bridge Company and some of their other spans, the plaque on the Pipe Creek Bridge might suggest some relation to Stupp Brothers as it is similar to one of theirs.

Onion Creek Bridge
Posted December 7, 2008, by Rick Mattioni

Bridge is still standing, looks to have been mounted on new steel beams in original location. Area around bridge has been cleared of brush.

Onion Creek Bridge
Posted October 11, 2006, by Anonymous

This bridge was still standing as of March 2003. The floor boards have been removed and the area around the bridge is becomming overgrown with saplings. The bridge can be seen easily from the new bridge that was built immediately to the west.