Historic Lewellen State Aid Bridge

category : Historic Bridges
Historic Lewellen State Aid Bridge The Lewellen State Aid Bridge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Garden County Commissioners first applied for state aid to build bridges over the North Platte River at Lewellen and Oshkosh in July 1916. After years of delay, the Oshkosh Bridge was finally erected in 1924-25. Early the next year the Nebraska Department of Public Works designed a structure for the Lewellen crossing. Like the Oshkosh Bridge, the Lewellen Bridge would be comprised of seven 100-foot, riveted Pratt pony trusses, supported by 50-foot-long, Bethlehem H-pile piers, encased in concrete.

In April 1926 the county commissioners awarded a contract to build the bridge to the Western Bridge and Construction Company of Omaha. Western built the structure during the fall and winter of 1926-27 for $71,300. Although originally a state highway crossing, the Lewellen Bridge is now maintained by the county in essentially unchanged condition.

The Lewellen Bridge was one of eight state aid bridges designed by the state engineer's office using multiple-span Pratt pony trusses. With spans ranging from 60 to 100 feet, most were built in the mid-1920s, when the riveted long-span pony truss found its greatest acceptance in Nebraska. Of the three Garden County state aid bridges, two remain in original condition. In fact, the Lewellen and Lisco bridges are the only remaining intact examples of state aid pony trusses in Nebraska. (A third structure, the Platte River Bridge in Hall County, is made up of six spans salvaged from the Silver Creek State Aid Bridge.) The Lewellen Bridge is significant as a regionally important crossing of the North Platte River and as one of the last remaining structures from the state aid bridge program.

Total Length: 710 ft.
Roadway Width: 15 ft.
7-Span, 5-Panel, Pratt Pony Truss
TYPE: Rigid-connected Pratt pony truss
BUILT: 1926-27 by the Western Bridge and Construction Co.

Address: County Road over the North Platte River, 1 Mile South of Lewellen

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