Mystery Bridge Nr. 17: A Bridge with no name; no home

Hurricane Creek Bridge (the bridge formerly known as….). Photos provided by David Backlin; taken in January 2011

There are quite a few entries for the 2012 Ammann Awards under the category Mystery Bridges. This unique through truss bridge in Saline County, Arkansas is one of them. Discovered by David Backlin in January 2011, it would be assumed that the bridge’s historic and aesthetic value would justify the county’s reason for taking the bridge off its foundations and placed it off the side of Woodland Park Road in Bryant. Yet the fact that the bridge has absolutely no record of its history (the year it was built and the bridge builder) creates the impression that the county cares a great deal for the six-panel Pratt through truss bridge with A-frame portal bracings. When it was replaced in 1985 by its current structure, it was taken off its foundations, moved a few hundred feet to its current location and has remained there for over 27 years. Normally, for a structure with no name or history like this one, regardless of its appearance, it is usually demolished before anyone would have a chance to research it. In fact, nine through truss bridges out of ten meet this unfortunate fate.

The fact that the bridge is still standing is a blessing for there is the potential interest in saving the structure, let alone researching about its history, most of which can be found either in a museum or through oral resources. Yet to reuse the bridge, one will need to find a new place and consider restoring the structure  first, as some parts of the bridge have been bent due to weather extremities. But given the success story of the Piano Bridge, it is doable with little cost.

If you have any information pertaining to the bridge, you can comment it at the end of the article or send it to the Chronicles at flensburg.bridgehunter.av@googlemail.com.  The bridge is up for nomination under Mystery Bridge, the category that was established this year, which explains the reason for its nomination despite its discovery a year ago. In any case, this bridge is waiting for a new home and its identity to be revealed by anyone willing to research its history.

Portal view

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