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Wea Creek Bridge

Antioch Road Bridge

   


Wea Creek Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 5, 2016
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
West Trail Over Kansas River Tributary
Location
Topeka: Shawnee County, Kansas
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1870 By Builder/Contractor: Buckeye Bridge Works of Cleveland, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1988
Main Span Length
69 Feet (21 Meters)
Structure Length
69 Feet (21 Meters)
Roadway Width
13 Feet (3.9 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Kansas Historic Resources Inventory Report For This Bridge

View The Patent For This Historic Bridge

This bridge is the last surviving example of a bowstring truss design patented by Mahlon Miller and built by Buckeye Bridge Works. Bridges from this era followed unique (and often patented) designs of the various bridge builders in existence. As such, the loss of the last example of a bridge by a particular builder/patent is an irreversible and terrible loss of heritage and engineering. Fortunately, this bridge has indeed been preserved for non-motorized use on a trail.

The bridge was originally built as a three span bridge over Bull Creek at the Osawatomie River. The bridge was replaced in 1902, but each span was relocated and reused elsewhere. This span found a new home at Wea Crek at Whitaker Crossing between Wea and Tenmile Townships on Antioch Road. In 1988, the bridge made its most recent move to the grounds of the Kansas State Historical Society where it remains today.

Destroyed by flooding, there was a bridge in Iowa built to the Miller patent. Before it was destroyed, Historic American Engineering Record produced drawings of the bridge. These drawings help show the composition  of the Wea Creek Bridge (which was not drawn by HAER) View Historic American Engineering Record Drawings. and View Historic American Engineering Data Pages.

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Photos and Videos: Wea Creek Bridge

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