Sac River Bridge – 1895 – Caplinger Mills, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 37° 47.662 W 093° 48.118
15S E 429392 N 4183302
Quick Description: Truss bridge across the Sac River within the Caplinger Mills Historic District in the small village of Caplinger Mills, Missouri.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 3/27/2015 9:27:14 PM
Waymark Code: WMNKAB
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 1

Long Description:
"In 1895, under contract to the Cedar County Court, the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company completed construction of portions of the present iron bridge. This bridge was the first iron bridge to be constructed in Cedar County and was only four years younger than the first county bridge of any kind {a suspension bridge a few miles upstream that collapsed after only eighteen years of service).

The iron bridge now crosses the water from the low bluff on the west to the bottomland on the east in five spans, of which the three on the west are original. As built, the west span was a queen post deck truss, 52 feet in length. The next two spans to the east were identical, eight panel, pinned, Pratt through trusses, each being 140 feet in length. These trusses retain their decorative finials, and the west span still has its emblem intact, reading "1895 Chicago Bridge Co". The original east, or fourth, span of the bridge was a deck supported by lattice beams projecting from the river bed. The length of this span is unknown but, since the original bridge was to have been 405 feet long, simple arithmetic implies that it was 77 feet in length (although some of this distance could have been an earthen approach ramp).

The original bridge was supported on abutments at each end, by a dumbbell pier beneath the center of the two through trusses, and by twin "X" braced vertical tubes at each end of these same trusses. The east span was subsequently dropped into the river by the aforementioned floods, and a lattice beam on the east high truss was buckled. Locals used hog wire to construct a temporary swinging footbridge across the gap. To repair the damage a replacement 70 feet, "class B" structure (a four panel, pinned, pony truss) was built, and the damage to the east high truss was mitigated by pouring concrete between the tubes of the east pier and by installing a patch plate on the southeast portal.

Formal repairs were completed, but within a few months flooding again washed out the east end of the bridge and the river channel was so widened that two spans were required to make the bridge serviceable. The downed span was replaced with a five panel, pinned, pony truss, 86 feet in length, and was supported by a new concrete pier. It is believed that the present east span; a four panel, pony truss of 70 feet is actually the downed span salvaged, moved to the east and reinstalled on a new wingwall abutment. The specifications called for the original bridge to be painted at the time of its erection, but there is now no hint of paint on the structure. The original dressed pine banisters were replaced by angle iron railings before 1919.

The middle pier presently shows rust perforation close to water line, and drainage from the roadway has caused limited damage to the west span and old repairs are visible. Other than the periodic replacement of the wooden decking, the bridge has received little other maintenance. The Cedar County Court reported in January of 1981 that permanent repairs to the bridge would entail repairing rusted and frozen bearings and replacing some members. At present, only pedestrian traffic is allowed on the bridge." – National Register Nomination

Bridge is open only to pedestrian traffic and is a popular place to be visited. The bridge is a contributing structure in the Caplinger Mills Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
Date built or dedicated as indicated on the date stone or plaque.: 1895

Date stone, plaque location.: West end of bridge at top of trust structure

Road, body of water, land feature, etc. that the bridge spans.: Sac River

Website (if available): [Web Link]

Parking (safe parking location): Not Listed

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