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Frankenstein bridges

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This is on old US 71 north of Mena. Could it have been replaced by the county using whatever they could acquire? Or is there an actual reason to build a bridge this way?

That bridge is simply a pony truss with concrete approach spans. I know it well as I grew up in Mena.

Here's a pic of the other end. Note the concrete on the right side of the bridge.

For some reason i think it used to be two pony truss spans, and one was removed.

After WWII (and with the Korean conflict too) materials were in short supply, and if a county had to take out a bridge somewhere, it wouldn't neccessarily go to the scrap yard.  Many were repurposed to other sites, like on a busy county gravel somewhere.  A state highway bridge, even if functionally obsolete, could still provide useful service elsewhere, on a secondary road for instance. Or a short highway bridge might become an approach span for a larger bridge elsewhere

I recall my dad buying a bridge the county replaced with a 9' culvert.  We used it for many years, reassembled on our farm.  It was cheap, too, the 7 I-beams costing less than $300.  We have since replaced the bridge with a tube, and some of the beams are now built into a small bridge in a nearby park. 

Even railroads do this.  The original 1880s 330' spans of the C&NW span over the Missouri River at Blair weren't scrapped in the 20s, they were disassembled and moved to Wyoming.  IIRC, they were rebuilt shorter, so the weight limitations that made them obsolete at Blair weren't a problem at their new location.  Recall re-building a bridge at half it's original length can increase it's load capacity by more than double.


--- Quote from: Jardine on February 08, 2015, 02:50:09 PM ---A state highway bridge, even if functionally obsolete, could still provide useful service elsewhere, on a secondary road for instance.

--- End quote ---
There are many examples of this in the old Arkansas minute orders (it stopped, at least temporarily, when the state system was expanded in 1963).

--- Quote ---[July 1963]
5141   WHEREAS, by Minute Order No. 4063, dated April 4, 1961,
 the Commission established a policy for the disposition of old steel   bridges that are being replaced with modern design bridges, and,
  WHEREAS, this policy provided that under certain criteria the   County Judge in the County in which the structure is located would be   given the option of utilizing such old structure, and,
  WHEREAS, the State Highway Commission has recently added   to the State Highway System approximately 800 miles of County roads   on which are many unsafe, dilapidated bridges in need of immediate   repair, in order to carry traffic, bridge steel salvaged from these old   bridges would be of great benefit to the State Highway Department in   the repair and reconstruction ofsecondary bridges and culverts,
  THEREFORE, it is the order of the State Highway Commission   that all salvaged steel from old bridges remain the property of the   Highway Department for exclusive use on the State Highway System.
  Any provisions of Minute Order No. 4063 contrary to this   order are hereby rescinded.

--- End quote ---

I was wondering if this bridge was such a case. But the bridge on the new alignment was built in 1965, so unless they resumed the program the old alignment would have been a state bridge while the program was in operation.


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