Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rockport Bridge

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.

Bridge Design
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


Alex said...

Oh wow! Such nice perspective and full of details! Absolutely beautiful! :)

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Beautifully done, Speck!

Speck said...

Thank you Alex and Kate!

Buck said...

Wow! I did'nt even know they made bridges like this (with a camelback in the middle)

Is it still there? Can we walk across it?

Speck said...

Sorry Buck, no moonlight strolls on this bridge. It was swept away in a flood in 1990, replaced by a horrid, squatty concrete affair.

gate valves said...

wow! amazing illustration! very nice!