Cowley County, Kansas, boasts of being the stone arch bridge capital of the state. With 18 stone arch bridges listed on the county’s stone arch bridge brochure, these old structures are also a notable part of the county’s tourism. So, what makes the Cowley bridges unique among the 200+ other stone … [Read more...] about On the Stone Arch Bridges of Cowley County, Kansas
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 done … [Read more...] about On Spandrel Walls
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 … [Read more...] about Andes Bridge
One characteristic of masonry structures in general, and stone arch bridges specifically, is the fact that the person(s) who built the bridge inevitably left behind a hallmark. Not just any and all plaques, but the workmanship itself is often telltale. Each builder has his own method, and, in the … [Read more...] about Stone Arch Bridges: Who Built It?
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 … [Read more...] about The Esch’s Spur Bridge
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 … [Read more...] about Stone Arch Bridges: Methods of “Turning the Arch”