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Independence Bowstring Bridge

Independence Bowstring Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 6, 2016

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Burns Street Over Verdigris River
Independence: Montgomery County, Kansas: United States
Structure Type
Metal Bowstring Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Bowstring Pony Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1871 By Builder/Contractor: Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
154 Feet (46.94 Meters)
Structure Length
229 Feet (69.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s) and 1 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Kansas Historic Resources Inventory Report For This Bridge

This bridge is abandoned with deck and deck stringers removed.

Cast and wrought iron bowstring truss bridges represent some of the earliest, rarest, and most significant historic bridges in the country. And among bowstring bridges, this is one of the most significant examples. Firstly, its main span is one of the few surviving bowstrings by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company that uses genuine Phoenix columns for the upper chord. The company typically used Keystone columns (or columns resembling Keystone columns), and appears to have rarely used Phoenix columns. Not only does the upper chord have the appearance of a Phoenix column, it bears the name of Phoenix Iron to prove that they were actually rolled in by the Phoenixville, Pennsylvania based company.

This bridge also has a pony truss bowstring approach span, with an estimated span length of 75 feet. Unlike the main span, this one does use the more common Keystone-style column. As such this bridge offers a unique comparison to the two columns... at least in the winter. In the summer, the overgrowth is so extensive that the pony truss is literally not visible from the south side, which is the easily accessible end.


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