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Historic Bridges of Nebraska

Franklin County

Franklin Bridge

State Hwy 10 over the Republican River
1 Mile South of Franklin
Franklin County, Nebraska
Total Length: 726 ft.
Roadway Width: 23 ft.
3-Span, 10-Panel, Rigid-Connected
Warren Pony Truss
TYPE: Rigid-connected Warren pony truss with polygonal upper chords
BUILT: 1932, 1935
S010 00548
Franklin Bridge

The Nebraska Bureau of Roads and Bridges eschewed Warren truss configurations in favor of the Pratt truss throughout the 1910s and 1920s. In the early 1930s, however, the bureau designed a handful of bridges using Warrens with polygonal top chords for its long-span pony trusses. The Franklin Bridge over the Republican River is one of these. The state designed the structure in 1932 and hired the Koehler Construction Company of Lincoln to build it. Completed that year, the bridge was comprised of three 100-foot, polygonal Warren pony trusses and three approach spans.

When a devastating flood swept away one truss and one approach span in 1935, the bureau replaced the lost truss with one of identical design fabricated by the Omaha Structural Steel Works and constructed two new approach spans on the south and three on the north. Unaltered since then, the Franklin Bridge is technologically noteworthy as one of two remaining examples in the state of this formative engineering exercise.

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