The Rocky Mountain States

COLORADO/WYOMING/MONTANA

The King Bridge Company was able to obtain contracts for its bridges in these states that were opening up for development with the coming of the railroads and the great western migration. One of their earliest bridges shown in the catalogues of the 1880s was the Blake Street Bridge in Denver, which has long since disappeared. However, there are still some notable King bridges still standing on the eastern side of the Rockies.

WYOMING

The Fort Laramie Army Bridge – 1875 – at Ft Laramie This three span 400 foot bridge is probably the most famous of the existing King bridges since it is on the National Historic Register and under the control of the National Park Service as part of historic Fort Laramie. It is a King bridge patent design supported by special iron piers also patented by Zenas King. It is reported to be the oldest iron bridge west of the Mississippi and is included in “Landmark American Bridges” by Eric Delony, HAER, Little,Brown and Co. 1990 and in “Great American Bridges and Dams” by Donald C. Jackson, John Wiley & Sons 1988.

For more history see also: http://userpages.aug.com/bdobson/nplatte2.html

http://wyoshpo.state.wy.us/trailsdemo/fort_laramie.htm

MONTANA

King Bridge Company agents were active in obtaining contracts for both railroad and highway bridges in Montana, some of which remain

1. The Dearborn River High Bridge 1897- Lewis & Clark County)This unique 160 foot Pratt half deck truss crosses a gorge on the Dearborn River in the spectacular foothills of the Rocky Mountains front range. The King Bridge Company received the controversial contract to build the bridge in a battle with local builders. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been restored by the Montana Transportation Department.

(see NEW 11/15/03 and NEW 1/26/03))

2. The Williams Street Pony Truss -1894- Helena 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.

(see 2005 Update and PRESERVATION)

3. The BN RR Beam Girder -1902- Missouri River Hiking Trail, Great Falls

A 1902 Beam Girder railroad bridge in Great Falls, Montana running along side the Missouri River. Marlowe Rames, who furnished the pictures of the structure and the King Bridge Company plate, discovered it. This joins one other King bridge known to exist in the state, the up-side-down Pratt Truss across the Dearborn River just recently rehabilitated by the Montana Department of Transportation.

 

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