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

Repair of Partially Collapsed Arches

Can a partially collapsed stone arch be repaired? While presenting a somewhat of a challenge, this sort of damage to a stone bridge is, nevertheless, reparable, as proved by the case of Ireland’s Avoca Village Bridge.1 The Avoca Village Bridge consists of several true semi-elliptical arches built with precision-cut stones. In August 1986, a series […]

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History

Andes Bridge

The Andes Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historical Places, is one of four double-arch bridges in Cowley County, Kansas. (The others include the Neer, Rock Creek, and the Fromm bridges—the smaller west arch of the Fromm Bridge was buried by the county to prevent collapse.) In 1909, Walter Sharp built the […]

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Locations

The Esch’s Spur Bridge

The Esch’s Spur Bridge (called Kirk Bridge on the plaque) is a well-known triple-arch bridge outside Dexter, Cowley, Kansas, that is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Built in 1913 by Walter Sharp, this bridge has spanned Grouse Creek for over a century. Arguably the most renowned of the Cowley bridges, it is […]

Categories
Construction

The Hydraulic Properties of Stone Arch Bridges

When building bridges, it is always necessary to take into account the hydraulic effects of the structure. Piers in a river, for instance, always cause interesting water-related phenomena. Not only is a pier vulnerable to being undermined by the action of water, a pier can obstruct trees and other floating objects in the river until […]

Categories
Construction

Stone Arch Bridges: Methods of “Turning the Arch”

Arguably the most difficult part of building a stone arch bridge is “turning the arch.” This phrase simply refers to keeping the correct angle on each individual stone so that the arch goes in a circle — not as easy, perhaps, as one might think. The Gothic Arch To begin with, some arch shapes are […]

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History

Four Early Cowley Bridges

Cowley County, Kansas, is reputed to be the stone arch bridge capital of Kansas and has many historic stone arch bridges. It is, however, unclear what the first stone arch bridge in Cowley County was. The reason for this is very simple — not all stone arch bridges were built by the county, and for […]

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 […]