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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