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Washington Creek Bridge

Douglas County, Kansas

Roadway Over Creek


Douglas County


Finney & Turnipseed


Midwest Construction Company


July 2009

An old truss bridge in a rural area approximately 10 miles outside of Lawrence, Kansas, was deteriorating and in need of replacement. Residents in the area relied on this bridge as the main access to their homes on the other side of Washington Creek. The structure was in such bad condition that the county placed a 3 ton load limit on it. This limit eliminated emergency vehicle access as well as access for residents desiring to cross in a pickup truck loaded with much needed fertilizer or feed.

“The deterioriating truss was built in 1910 and could no longer provide adequate access for the residents,” said Doug Stephens,Construction Inspection Supervisor with Douglas County Public Works. “Without the bridge, the only alternative was to use 4-wheel drive in order to access their homes. It was the end of summer and it was critical to have the bridge replaced before the start of school in the fall.” Construction needed to occur quickly and Midwest Construction Company, the contractor on the project, was given a maximum of only 12 days to  complete the entire bridge replacement project.

In order to meet this challenge, Contech Engineered Solutions provided an 80’ x 18’ weathering steel vehicular truss bridge. A truss bridge was chosen because of its ability for a quick installation and minimal road closure. The bridge was designed in order to utilize the old bridge abutments which enabled a speedy installation. Overall, the road was closed for only 10 days. “The residents were happy with the efficiency of the installation; it was a linear process from start to finish,” said Stephens. “The Contech bridge met our goals and it is a good looking  structure that fits in nicely with the rolling hills of the surrounding environment.”

Technical Description:

  • Width: 18 - ft.
  • Span: 80 - ft.
  • Style: Capstone®
  • Finish: Weathering Steel
  • Decking: Wood

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