There are a number of places around the country where an effort is being made to save old King bridges. In this section of our Museum, we will be commenting on these efforts periodically in order to help those involved examine and hopefully benefit from what others are (or are not) doing. The Allan King Sloan Family Fund has been helping provide some funding for these efforts and is available for assistance for worthy causes of this kind. If you know of any restoration or preservation projects of this kind, please tell us about them by contacting AllanKingSloan@KingBridgeCo.com.
Since 2000, we have been helping preservation groups that have programs to save old King bridges by providing grants from this charitable gift fund. To date we have furnished grants to six such organizations, two of which have completed restorations and four others that are still underway. There are also a number of other potential restoration projects still under consideration. The ** denotes projects to which the Allan King Sloan Family Charitable Gift Fund has made contributions.
In addition, there are some notable restoration efforts undertaken in the last few years to which we have given moral support but no funding. These various categories of preservation projects are listed below with indications as to what part of our website detailed information can be found.
PROJECTS IN PROGRESS
The Black Warrior (Espy) Bridge – Northport, Alabama —This single 203 foot span bowstring built by the King Bridge Company in 1882 will be relocated back to near its original location on the levee system in Northport as part of a walking trail system. Funds are being provided by the Alabama DOT using Federal T-21 money with 20% to be provided by the City of Northport and the Friends of Historic Northport,** a local citizens group. Plans for the disassembly and moving of the bridge have been completed and the project will be going out to bid shortly. Estimated costs are $115,000. Check the ALABAMA section for details and also see the article by Ken Willis in the SIA Newsletter Number 1 of 2006. (Photo courtesy of Porfirio Solorzano of The Tuscaloosa News)
The Grasse River Bowstring – Canton, New York This is an 1870 vintage King tubular arch bowstring across the Grasse River. Rehabilitation will allow the bridge to be used as pedestrian access to river islands once populated by mills. The bridge and island restoration being funded by a grant of $177.353 from the State of New York and $110,000 raised by the Grasse River Heritage Area Development Corporation** from local citizens. Barton and Loguidice Engineering of Syracuse has been selected to manage the project with an expected start in June and completion in November, 2006. Check the NEW YORK section, Canton, for details.
The Bullman Bridge – Hamilton County, Texas—This 85 foot long bowstring was built in 1884 by the King Bridge Company and is included in the Texas State Transportation Enhancement Program. It will be relocated to the Pecan Creek State Park when a new bridge is constructed. The archeological and environmental studies have been completed and planning is underway for actual bridge removal and restoration. The Texas Department of Transportation may let the contract for removal and relocation in the fall of 2006. The Hamilton County Historical Commission** has been promoting this relocation and rehabilitation effort. Check the TEXAS section, Hamilton County, for details.
PROJECTS UNDER STUDY/CONSIDERATION
King Through Truss Bridge in Madison County, Indiana – This Pratt truss bridge was purchased by Jim Barker in order to save it from destruction. It is stored in a quarry awaiting funding for its relocation to the Madison Heritage Trail. For the latest information on this project, check the INDIANA section link to the Heritage Trail of Madison website,“Our Bridge” section. ( http://www.heritagetrailofmadison.org.)
The Yellow Creek Bridge – Bedford County, Pennsylvania — A restoration feasibility study underway by the County for this 104 foot Pratt truss built by the King Bridge Company in 1889. This bridge is included in the PenDOT Historic Bridge Inventory as eligible for historic status. We will update the progress and findings shortly.
The East Town Line Bridge – Arcadia, New York –The Aldrich Change Bridge restoration team and local authorities may be exploring the possibility of restoring this long abandoned Pratt Truss, one of two built by the King Bridge Company in Wayne County in 1884. Stay tuned.
THE DANVILLE-MICKLES (PETIT JEAN) BOWSTRING BRIDGE, YELL COUNTY, ARKANSAS —Thanks to Randall and Shari Houp of Alma, Arkansas, we learned of the existence of a 1870s vintage King patented bowstring located across the Petit Jean River near Danville in Yell County, Arkansas. The bridge appears to be in an area controlled by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and still has a builders plate with the Z. King patent of July 2, 1867 noted. While the 1874 King Bowstring across Cadron Creek in Springfield, has been known to local pontists and documented by HAER, the Petit Jean bowstring is a new find. Charles Bowden, a local pontist, had also discovered the bridge and Robert Scoggin, the Historic Resources Coordinator for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department has been looking into ways to have the bridge placed on the National Historic Register. James Baughn has great pictures of the bridge on his website, some taken by Wayne Kazziar (if not able to find with the following reference, find under Yell County on the home page). (http://bridges.midwestplaces.com/ar/yell/bowstring) (http://bridges.midwestplaces.com/browse/by/builder/king/)
NEW! The Williams Street Bridge, Helena, Montana – The Montana Department of Transportation has put this 67 foot pony truss built by the King Bridge Company in 1894 up for sale. It will be replaced by a new bridge in 2007. The City of East Helena put in a proposal to relocate the bridge to that community and have it cross Prickly Pear Creek where an earlier pony truss bridge had been located. The previous bridge at that site was constructed the same time as the Williams Street Bridge and was washed out in a flood in 1981. Nothing has been formalized yet though.
The Hojack Swing Bridge – Rochester, New York
This 304 foot long railroad swing bridge was built in 1905 by the King Bridge Company and abandoned by CONRAIL 1993, which has been ordered by the U. S. Coast Guard to remove the bridge, as it is no longer used for transportation. However it is still standing and may benefit from a planning study of the surrounding area recently commissioned by the City of Rochester by Sasaki Associates. For details see NEW YORK, Hojack Special for the latest