2 votes

Thomas Bridge


Looking north. The bridge is now closed to traffic.

Photo taken by Aaron Hall in May 2013

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)


BH Photo #254530


Street Views 


Preserved Open Spandrel bridge over Wakarusa River on Wanamaker Road, southeast of Auburn
Shawnee County, Kansas
Intact but closed to all traffic
Built ca. 1916
- Allen & Fulton of Topeka, Kansas
- William M. Thomas
Open spandrel concrete arch
Span length: 109.9 ft.
Total length: 109.9 ft.
Deck width: 16.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 10, 1990
Also called
Waveland Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.87506, -95.76161   (decimal degrees)
38°52'30" N, 95°45'42" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/260427/4306536 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
NRHP 90000746 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
KS 000000000890530 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 18552 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 26, 2016: Updated by Robert Elder: Added category "Skewed"
  • October 23, 2016: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • May 26, 2013: Merged duplicate pages
  • May 26, 2013: Updated by Clark Vance: Added categories "Concrete balustrade", "Balustrade railing"
  • May 26, 2013: Updated by Aaron Hall: Bridge no longer open to traffic.
  • August 12, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited multiple categories. Bridge was bypassed and left in place due to NRHP listing.
  • July 23, 2008: Updated by Robert Elder: Updated Current Owner, Builders, and Categories.
  • February 7, 2008: Added by Robert Elder


  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Aaron Hall - ahall [at] vitaphone [dot] net
  • National Register nomination form - Registration form for the Thomas Arch Bridge on the National Register of Historic Places. Gives much historical information.
  • Nick Schmiedeler - nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com


Thomas Bridge
Posted October 23, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The historical integrity of this bridge is a great bonus. The demolished Ratner Road bridge a few miles downstream also had amazing historic integrity. I regret that my fellow Bridgehunters did not get to see it. I am glad that they can see this one though. Both of these bridges are/were very underrated due to their obscurity.

Thomas Bridge
Posted October 23, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Great to see a concrete arch that actually has the beautiful Balustrade railings intact! If they aren't replaced with modern crap they are usually pilfered and vandalized!

Thomas Bridge
Posted October 23, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is really a fascinating bridge. The vertical members on this bridge are not truly vertical. I cannot recall seeing another bridge exactly like this one, but I have only evaluated a relatively small number of open spandrel bridges.

Thomas Bridge
Posted October 23, 2016, by Nick Schmiedeler

Visited this one this week - amazing - wow - prop. owner of N. Branch Wakarusa (old channel) Bridge told me of it - very worth searching out, epic craftsmanship

Thomas Bridge
Posted May 26, 2014, by Ripple (ripple [at] phatratt [dot] com)

I got lost leaving Topeka and noticed this bridge hiding between the trees from the new road. I took the time to stop and take some photos. What a great piece of workmanship and location.

There is no street view of this bridge and the address is of the closet house. 10628 SW Wanamaker Rd, Wakarusa, KS 66546

But the Google maps GPS location is ... https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8756047,-95.7613335,74m/data...

I had the pleasure of first meeting the Dog there then the owner who stopped me from running away from the dog and was more than happy to share the history of the bridge with me as she was instrumental in saving this historical site.

Reading the background made it even better experience.


More pictures on line at http://phatrattcentralcolo.smugmug.com/KANSAS/Scenic-and-Nat...

Ripple Ratt


Phat Ratt Photography


Golden, Colorado

Thomas Bridge
Posted August 12, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge has been replaced, but will be preserved due to its status as a historic bridge.

The new Wanamaker Road Bridge was built on a new alignment. To visit the old bridge, I would recommend taking the new road from the North and then turning left onto the old alignment as shown in the first street view.

Thomas Bridge or Waveland Bridge
Posted August 12, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Note to Webmaster:

The photographs and other information on this page should be merged with this page http://bridgehunter.com/ks/shawnee/thomas/

These are duplicate listings.

Thomas Bridge or Waveland Bridge
Posted March 14, 2009, by Larry Briggs (larrystude [at] aol [dot] co;m)

I lived in a converted one room school house at the southeast end/side of this bridge over the Wakarusa River from 1951 through 1959. What a great area to live and grow up in. I played, fished and hunted my time away at the river and in the woods.

Thomas Bridge or Waveland Bridge
Posted February 8, 2008, by Robert L. Elder (Robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is actually the same bridge as the Thomas Bridge (BH 18552), which is listed as a Stone Arch Bridge. I apologize for any confusion.