Categories
Maintenance

On Spandrel Walls

One of the important parts of a stone arch bridge is the spandrel walls. The spandrel is the part of the bridge that is built up over the arch to form a reasonable roadbed grade. Unlike the approach, the spandrel walls are located over the arch. Except for a very flat arch, something must be […]

Categories
Maintenance

Stone Arch Bridge Maintenance

Part of the historical appeal of stone arch bridges was the fact that they needed but little maintenance. After all, stone does not rot out or need painted. Stone bridges also are substantially heavier than iron or wooden bridges, which meant that, whereas in major floods wooden bridges would set sail downstream and iron bridges […]

Categories
History

Another Lesser-Known Stone Arch Bridge: Whitewater River Bridge

A bridge to add to our lesser-known stone arch bridge list is found in Butler County, Kansas. In Plum Grove Township, about 3 ½ miles north of Potwin, there is a peculiar little stone arch bridge over the Whitewater River on NW 155th Street. Located about ½ mile west of the 115th–Buffalo Road intersection, this […]

Categories
History

What’s in a Name?

Many of the old stone arch bridges around the world have names which, after a fashion, tell a tale of the history of the structure and, sometimes, the area around it. Others have obvious names that are not particularly informative, beyond, perhaps, what body of water the bridge is spanning. In Kansas, many of the […]

Categories
Locations

4 Lesser-Known Stone Bridges of Kansas

This list of lesser-known bridges in Kansas is composed of bridges that are not well documented for various reasons. Some of them are off-road while others, even though they are actually on the roadway, have largely escaped the public eye — an easy occurrence if they are not on the national bridge inventory or are […]

Categories
Construction

Stone Arch Bridges: The Concept Explained

Stone arches have long been used for spanning gaps throughout the world. Their permanence has been testified to and evidenced by the surprising number of Roman and Medieval stone arch bridges still in use. But how do these bridges work? How do you span a gap with stone? The Slab Method The simple and most […]