1 vote

Ball Ford Bridge


Ball Ford Bridge

Looking North

Photo taken by John Marvig in August 2016


BH Photo #362554


Pratt through truss bridge over Grand River on Ball Ford Trail
Gentry County, Missouri
Open to traffic
Built ca. 1900; refurbished to carry road traffic sometime before 2000
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
Pin-connected, 7-panel Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 150.0 ft.
Total length: 215.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.21100, -94.38353   (decimal degrees)
40°12'40" N, 94°23'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/382264/4452094 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 63 N., R. 31 W., Sec. 34
844 ft. above sea level
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
MONBI 18355 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
MO 038-182R01.5 (Missouri off-system bridge number)
BH 21521 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of February 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 68 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • August 1, 2020: New photos from Neil Krout
  • August 28, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • August 23, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added categories "Pratt truss", "Pratt through truss", "7-panel truss"
  • August 22, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • August 22, 2016: New photo from John Marvig


  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Christopher Finigan
  • Neil Krout - kickinpony [dot] 66 [at] gmail [dot] com


Ball Ford Bridge
Posted April 23, 2017, by Carey Fry (kitwings [at] sandwich [dot] net)

I finally made it down there a couple years ago after two previous attempts failed due to "road" conditions and loose cattle. Had to park about a mile up and walk, nearly lost a boot in the mud but was mad enough by then to keep going. Thank you for update re: railroad bridge, cleared some things up for me.

Ball Ford Bridge
Posted August 28, 2016, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Pictures are uploaded and information updated. Quite the find!

Ball Ford Bridge
Posted August 23, 2016, by K. Allen Ballard (speedeeprint [at] gmail [dot] com)

Good work John, thanx for sharing, sorry to hear you got stuck checking it out.

Ball Ford Bridge
Posted August 22, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Good work! I look forward to seeing pictures.

Ball Ford Bridge
Posted August 22, 2016, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Confirmed that this is indeed a former railroad bridge, likely dating to the turn of the century. The massive built up chords and pinned connections, as well as concrete substructures seem to imply this.

However, the bridge is tough to access. Even with a truck, I still ended up getting stuck for hours on a muddy road. Proceed with caution to this beauty..

Ball Ford Bridge
Posted July 15, 2016, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The 1940 Darlington MO 62500 map shows the road crossing the stream immediately to the SE of the CB&Q then crossing the track on the north side of the stream. Now the road crosses over on the south bank to join the RR grade. Pretty clear that this is the RR bridge and the road bridge was removed.

Ball Ford Bridge
Posted July 15, 2016, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I don't think the bridge at this location is the one listed in the MO Historic Bridge Inventory (Gentry 008). The bridge here is on a railroad alignment, plus another road bridge was located just downstream of the current truss. The current truss is narrow enough to be a former railroad bridge, and is also pin connected. Anyone have any input?