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Rock Island Bridge

Clinton Presidential Park Bridge

Rock Island Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: November 8, 2016

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Key Facts

Little Rock: Pulaski County, Arkansas: United States
Structure Type
Metal 14 Panel Pin-Connected Pennsylvania Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 12 Panel Polygonal Warren Through Truss, Movable: Vertical Lift
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1899 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: F. A. Molitor

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
400 Feet (121.9 Meters)
Structure Length
1,614 Feet (491.9 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
3 Main Span(s) and 1 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge has been listed on HistoricBridges.org atypically due to the age and historical significance of the spans. Normally, the vertical lift span of this bridge would be considered the main span. However, because it dates to ca. 1970-1972 and is thus of limited significance, the approach spans are instead shown as the main spans. The approach spans were built along with a swing span (which was replaced by the lift span) in 1899. The approach spans are pin-connected truss spans of approximately 400 feet. As such, they are large and historically significant spans representing significant engineering achievements due to the long span length and complex Pennsylvania truss configuration.

In 2011, this railroad bridge was converted for pedestrian use. A unique solution enables the bridge to be permanently in the raised position. The original railroad deck was replaced with a pedestrian deck and it was installed in the fixed Pennsylvania truss spans as a ramp that leads up to the vertical lift span's raised deck. As such, at the ends of the Pennsylvania truss spans, the deck actually passes though where the portal and sway bracing was.

At night, dynamic color lighting can be seen on this bridge.

Above: Postcard showing bridge with original swing span.


Above: Photo showing color lighting on the bridge at night.

Above: 1899 Drawing of bridge as it appeared in a magazine produced by the railroad.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Rock Island Bridge

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Maps and Links: Rock Island Bridge

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