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Austin Bridge

Santa Fe Park Bridge

Austin Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 6, 2016

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Park Walkway Over Little Turkey Creek
Chanute: Neosho County, Kansas: United States
Structure Type
Metal Bowstring Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1872 By Builder/Contractor: King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
160 Feet (48.77 Meters)
Structure Length
160 Feet (48.77 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Kansas Historic Resources Inventory Report For This Bridge

This rare cast and wrought iron bowstring truss was relocated and preserved here in a park.

Built in 1872, this is an earlier example of a King Iron Bridge Company bowstring truss bridge. Details typical of the earlier bowstrings by this company including simple star iron outriggers without any lattice bars, and simple eyebars for the bottom chord splices are seen on this bridge. Later King bowstrings added lattice and switched to a split head eyebar design.

Strictly speaking, the bridge has not been restored. Structurally it did not need restoration, the cast and wrought iron has displayed its ability to resist deterioration in outstanding fashion. However, some of the alterations the bridge has acquired over its long life seem to have made the move with the bridge without reversal or correction. Specifically some of the cast iron posts for the overhead bracing had been crudely replaced with welded items (like whatever scrap happened to be in the back of the truck) and these do not rest at the correct angle upon the top chord.

The bridge has small concrete columns added underneath the bridge at two locations. Presumably added to reduce the loads on the historic truss, bowstrings have a tied arch aspect to them as well, and so its not clear what if anything adding these columns under the bridge actually do. Its not like there are load-bearing stringers added under the bowstring that these columns hold, they simply are under the transverse floorbeams. Its hard to imagine them offering any benefit.


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