Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Rockport Bridge was a three-span through truss bridge over the Ouachita River on AR 84 in Malvern, Hot Spring County, Arkansas. It was built in 1900 by Stupp Brothers Bridge & Iron Co., St. Louis, Missouri, and destroyed by flooding in 1990.
The Rockport Bridge was one of six Parker through truss bridges remaining in Arkansas in 1988, and was unique in the state because it had a camelback truss approach span at either end. The bridge was an excellent example of turn-of-the-century metal bridge construction. The bridge builder, Stupp Brothers Bridge and Iron Company, is one of the largest steel fabricators in the country, and is known to have built at least thirty bridges in Arkansas between 1900 and 1930.
The silo shown in the right of the drawing housed the in-take machinery for the original Rockport/Malvern water system . There was also a small castle-like structure that served as the control room for the water intake system. Both were once accessible by small walkways from the old bridge. Both structures were made of concrete and on the national register of historic places.
West span: Pin-connected, 8-panel, 160-foot Camelback Pratt through truss
Center span: Pin-connected, 11-panel, 220-foot Parker through truss
East span: Pin-connected, 8-panel, 160-foot Camelback Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 209.0 ft.
Total length: 526.9 ft.
Deck width: 15.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.8 ft.
Reference photo courtesy of:
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
Library of Congress, Prints and Photograph Division, Washington, D.C. 20540
Photographer: Louise T. Taft, July 1988