3 votes

Willard Bridge



Photos taken June 2007 by James Baughn

Request this photo

BH Photo #109255


Street Views 


Deck truss bridge over Kansas River on Carlson Road at Willard
Shawnee County, Kansas, and Wabaunsee County, Kansas
Replaced 2017
Built 1955; rehabilitated 1983
Warren deck truss
Length of largest span: 251.9 ft.
Total length: 2,297.3 ft. (0.4 mi.)
Deck width: 23.9 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.09898, -95.94679   (decimal degrees)
39°05'56" N, 95°56'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/245165/4331895 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
Inventory numbers
KS 000000000890130 (Kansas local bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 18560 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of August 2016)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 23.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • October 5, 2019: Updated by Aaron Hall: Now gone; bridge was imploded in October 2017.
  • February 11, 2018: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • June 13, 2017: Updated by Robert Elder: Closed.
  • July 28, 2014: New Street View added by Robert Elder
  • April 12, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Made slight adjustment to GPS Coordinates.
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Street View link for this doomed bridge
  • November 21, 2008: Updated by Kim Harvey: added category
  • September 27, 2007: Posted new photos



Willard Bridge
Posted February 11, 2018, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Interestingly enough, this bridge has been rated fair instead of poor. This is quite surprising given some of the media reports and the fact that road salt was causing severe deterioration on the bridge.

Willard Bridge
Posted November 24, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I last drove over it in November of 2016. It was definitely a fun bridge to cross. With the steel grate it was definitely a white-knuckle ride.

Willard Bridge
Posted November 24, 2017, by Max

Couple years back I was coming back from Manhattan via US24 when I got called to Topeka for a service call. The US75 crossing would've put me too far East of where i needed to go so I cut across the country side to I-70 via Willard and this bridge. Only time I ever drove over it, glad I got to least once before it's demise

Willard Bridge
Posted June 13, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge has been closed. H/T Jason Smith:


Willard Bridge
Posted September 14, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

A couple of videos of the bridge:



The new bridge is projected to open in December of 2017.

Willard Bridge
Posted March 27, 2015, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge may receive weekly inspections due to severe corrosion. Salt has been applied to the approaches, and tires have carried the salt onto the grate deck where it accumulated on the deck truss.


With a length of just under 2,300 feet, this bridge approaches, and in a few cases exceeds, the length of some of the older Missouri and Ohio River bridges.

Willard Bridge
Posted January 26, 2015, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)
Willard Bridge
Posted July 28, 2014, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)
Willard Bridge
Posted December 22, 2009, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am attaching an rticle from the Topeka Capital-Journal concerning the replacement of this deck truss bridge. A photograph is included.


Willard Bridge
Posted October 3, 2009, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

That is quite a story!

Driving across this bridge is always an experience. Many people don't like to cross it, especially when moisture rises from the river and makes the driving surface slick, or in a strong crosswind.


Willard Bridge
Posted October 3, 2009, by Tom C. Dailey (daileyservices [at] qwest [dot] net)

Back in 1945, when we lived IN Willard, I was 2 years old, and shortening a long story, got my index finger cut pretty badly - my Uncle Hank zoomed across the ORIGINAL Willard bridge in his '49 Hudson Hornet (airborne on both ends), and set the land-speed record for getting to Doc Smith's office in Rossville, where my finger was put back on - yeah, it's still there.

The original bridge was lost in 1951, during the great flood - it's still kinda creepy to drive over this new one, and look down THROUGH the grating type road-surface at the river, boiling and churning below you.


Willard Bridge
Posted November 20, 2008, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Shawnee County is now considering this bridge to be a high priority for replacement.