Historic Bridge -- Branch Creek Bridge, Iron County

Bridge Location

County:   Iron 

Road:   Route 49

Feature Crossed: Branch Creek   

Other Location Information:   Approximately 140’ north of intersection of Route BB in Vulcan

Structure Number:   Bridge No. G0633

Bridge Information

Owner:   Missouri Highway & Transportation Commission

Type:   Pratt Pony Truss

Length:   60 feet

Width:   20’ roadway

Year Built: 1924

Builder:   J. W. Wilson, Warrensburg, MO

Other Comments: 28 degree skew 

For further information, contact:

Name:  Karen Daniels, Senior Historic Preservation Specialist

Organization:  Missouri Department of Transportation

Address:   P. O. Box 270, Jefferson City, MO 65102

E-Mail:  karen.daniels@modot.mo.gov

Phone:  573-526-7346

Narrative Description and Significance

The Branch Creek Bridge is a 1924, five-panel, 60’ long Pratt Pony Truss on Route 49 just north of Vulcan, Missouri. The bridge utilized a standard Pratt with a modified bottom chord to accommodate the skew. The bridge has concrete abutments and wing walls, built up truss members, concrete deck with asphalt wearing surface, and gas pipe railing.

In 1923 the design for five miles of Route 49 in Iron County was largely complete. The St. Louis District asked that the bridges necessary for the roadway be designed and estimates provided as soon as possible. In May 1923 the Bridge Division indicated that four bridges would be necessary for the project, with an estimated cost of $25,000. Bridge design was completed in August. The project was expanded to include a bridge over the Big Creek and adjacent railroad, which caused a slight delay. Bids for project 105-D, which included bridge G0633 were received on July 22, 1924. The project was awarded on August 6, 1924 to low bidder J. W. Wilson of Warrensburg, Missouri for a bid of $90,701.73. The project agreement was executed on October 14, 1924. Final payment was made to Wilson on January 23, 1926. The final cost was $95,587.31.

Bridge G0633 is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under criterion C for local significance in engineering as an excellent surviving example of a standard plan Pratt pony truss. In addition, it is eligible under criterion A for local significance in transportation for its association with the development of the state highway system, specifically the construction of the build out of the system following the passage of the Centennial Road Law and the development of the early state highways in Missouri.

MoDOT’s Historic Preservation Section is now accepting proposals for the relocation and reuse of the bridge or its components until December 31, 2021. A proposal checklist is available MoDOT’s Free Bridges website (http://www.modot.org/freebridges/). Preservation covenants may accompany the bridge.