1 vote

Melan Bridge


Melan Arch Bridge

Topeka, Kansas

c1914 Postcard Image Provided by David Shedlock


BH Photo #430266



The Bridge opened on January 12, 1898 with 5 main spans replacing a Steel Truss Bridge next to it. The approach grade was destroyed in the 1903 flood and was replaced by 4 more spans bringing the span total to 9. 2 spans of the bridge collapsed during evening Rush Hour on July 2, 1965 at 5:30 PM taking at least 1 life and 2 cars with it. The collapse is believed to be caused by scour damage from the construction of the replacement bridge in progress when the collapse occurred.

The replacement bridge opened in 1967.


Lost Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Kansas River on Kansas Avenue
Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas
Lost, Destroyed by Partial Collapse July 2, 1965, Replaced by a new bridge 1967
Opened January 12, 1898 with 5 Main Spans, 4 more outer spans built 1903 after flooding washed out approaches, collapsed 1965 when replacement span was being built, replacement bridge opened 1967 slightly downstream
- Keepers & Thacher of Detroit, Michigan (Design)
Closed-spandrel arch bridge of 8 Spans with 5 Main Spans.
Length of largest span: 125.0 ft.
Deck width: 40.0 ft.
Also called
Melan Arch Bridge
Kansas Avenue Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.06244, -95.66889   (decimal degrees)
39°03'45" N, 95°40'08" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/269081/4327096 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 11 S., R. 16 E., Sec. 29
Inventory number
BH 55524 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 30, 2021: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added engineer.
  • March 28, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • October 8, 2019: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • July 9, 2018: New photo from David Shedlock
  • February 12, 2013: Updated by Chris Knight: yea I wonder if it was 8 or 9 further research form a site shows 9 spans.

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