Bypassed by a new bridge, this bridge sat deteriorated for several years before being rehabilitated for pedestrian use. The bridge is reportedly a Luten bridge, although the Topeka Bridge and Iron Company was the most prolific company licensed to build Luten arch bridges. HistoricBridges.org confirms that this bridge has the appearance of a standard Luten style arch bridge for an urban setting (which came with balustrade railings instead of solid panels used in rural locations). Other companies could license the use of a Luten patent however, and perhaps that is what happened here with the Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company.
An interpretive sign reads: The first major bridge at Cottonwood Falls was a 150 foot long iron truss bridge [HistoricBridges.org determined this to be a bowstring truss built by the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio] constructed in 1872. The iron bridge was just west of the present arch bridge. The present bridge was constructed in 1914 by the Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company of Leavenworth, Kansas for $13,700. The bridge is one of three reinforced masonry [also more commonly known as concrete], earth filled arch bridges still standing in Kansas, that are based on design principals developed and patented by Daniel B. Luten, a consulting engineer from LaFayette, Indiana. Luten-style bridges were usually of graceful proportions, trimmed in cut stone [uncommon in truth] with ornate rails, spindles, and handsome lights. A 1915 photo shows the arch bridge and the iron bridge with a horse drawn trolley in the foreground. The trolley operated on railroad tracks within the brick surface of the road between Cottonwood Falls and Strong City between 1886 and 1919. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Register of Historic Kansas Places.
Above: 1904 photo showing previous bridge at this location, a King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio bowstring truss, during a flood.
Above: Historical 1907 photo showing previous bridge.
Above: 1929 photo showing concrete arch bridge in a flood. Source: Kansas Memory, Lottie Luella Norris.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
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