Last week the Kansas Department of Transportation announced a grant to the Fort Scott/Bourbon County Riverfront Authority to help pay for moving the 1902 Long Shoals metal truss bridge from the Little Osage River to the Marmaton River at the Riverfront Park in Fort Scott. The Ft. Scott Tribune carries the full story: http://www.fstribune.com/story/2296125.html
Several years ago, field research for Damming the Osage took us deep into Kansas as we traced the river’s course and the migration of the Osage tribe westward. My “Trip Notes” for one day recorded that we turned east on K-31 “to search for overgrown iron bridge over the Little Osage River, near Kansas-Missouri state line.” We found it. Right next to the uninteresting, but safer, new concrete bridge that replaced it.
My notes continue: “found bridge which is almost completely obscured by trees, vines, foliage. Took many photos but need to come back in winter.” Lesson learned – best iron bridge visuals are when the leaves are off the trees.
For more and clearer images and technical and historical information on the Long Shoals iron bridge see http://bridgehunter.com/ks/bourbon/long-shoals/
One day, this now-abandoned bridge will grace a park in Fort Scott! A far better fate than the one that befell the Schell Cty Bridge over the Osage in Missouri – not far from Fort Scott.