Deteriorated Stones in a Bridge

Sometimes, a stone arch bridge will show significantly deteriorated stones. If the deterioration is manifest throughout the bridge, it can be a rather tricky problem to deal with — the stones make up the entire fabric of the structure. Unless a significant impact broke the stones, deteriorated stonework is almost always a sign of waterContinue reading “Deteriorated Stones in a Bridge”

The Challenge of Long-Span Arch Bridges

Building long-span arch bridges has always been a challenge with which many builders have been fascinated. It is all fine and well to use multiple relatively small arches and piers to create a long bridge, but the challenge of setting a record span, understandably, seems to have had its appeal to some builders. There areContinue reading “The Challenge of Long-Span Arch Bridges”

A Cowley County Stone Arch Bridge Before Its Time: The Island Park Bridge

Cowley County, Kansas, is well known for its large stone arch bridges. The county began building stone arch bridges in 1901, after Walter Sharp made clear to the county board that quality stone arch bridges could be made at an affordable cost. The first bridge the county made was a single arch span over TimberContinue reading “A Cowley County Stone Arch Bridge Before Its Time: The Island Park Bridge”

Arch Building Simplified: Walter Sharp’s Secret to Building Stone Arch Bridges

Perhaps one of the most well-known individual stone arch bridge builders is Walter Sharp. While primarily building in Kansas, he also built several stone arch bridges in other places, such as New Mexico. Walter Sharp seemingly appeared out of nowhere early on in Kansas’s years of stone arch bridge building. He quickly rose to prominence,Continue reading “Arch Building Simplified: Walter Sharp’s Secret to Building Stone Arch Bridges”

New Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas, Page

We now have a list of the numerous stone arch bridges and culverts of Butler County, Kansas, that we have included on our new Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas page. While Butler County is not as famous for its stone arch bridges as Cowley County, Kansas, Butler County nevertheless has a large numberContinue reading “New Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas, Page”

The Story of the Neer Bridge in Cowley County, Kansas

Cowley County is famous for its stone arch bridges. From Dexter’s massive triple-arch Pudden Bridge on the National Register of Historic Places to the tiny, poorly documented Stalter Bridge near Rock, Cowley County, Kansas, features a wide array of stone arch bridges in every shape and size. Many of these bridges have an interesting taleContinue reading “The Story of the Neer Bridge in Cowley County, Kansas”

Stone Arch Bridge Restoration and Pudden Bridge: Part 2

So how do you restore a stone arch bridge? In Part 1, using Pudden Bridge (Esch’s Spur Bridge) in Cowley County, Kansas, as our hypothetical example, we concluded that the partial demise of this massive structure’s middle arch was likely caused by breaking stones and deteriorating mortar joints. So now we will use this informationContinue reading “Stone Arch Bridge Restoration and Pudden Bridge: Part 2”

Stone Arch Bridge Restoration and Pudden Bridge: Part 1

Restoring a stone arch bridge can sometimes be something of a challenge. Often the results are worth the effort. Restoring a stone arch bridge may even cost less than replacing the bridge. The question is how do you restore a badly damaged bridge?   Pudden Bridge Example Let’s look at Pudden Bridge as an exampleContinue reading “Stone Arch Bridge Restoration and Pudden Bridge: Part 1”

Building Mortarless Bridges

Mortarless bridges are more challenging to build than standard, mortared bridges. The Advantages of Mortared Masonry Mortared masonry is more forgiving then mortarless stonework — the mortar fills in the gaps between stones, forming custom-shaped stones that perfectly fit into the joints. This makes the mortared masonry very strong. Well-built mortared masonry also effectively sealsContinue reading “Building Mortarless Bridges”

DIY Arch Building

While building the arch of a stone arch bridge is the most challenging part the project, it actually is not as difficult as it looks. There are several simple tricks that make the construction easier. Thin Stones Mean Easier Arc Creation As mentioned in our article on turning the arch, the use of thin stonesContinue reading “DIY Arch Building”