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Historic Bridges of Nebraska

Garden County

Lisco State Aid Bridge

County Road over the North Platte River
0.6 Miles South of Lisco
Garden County, Nebraska
Total Length: 651 ft.
Roadway Width: 15 ft.
5-Span, 5-Panel, Pratt Pony Truss
TYPE: Rigid-connected Pratt pony truss
BUILT: 1927-28 by the Western Bridge and Construction Co
C003500105P
Lisco State Aid Bridge

Just months after completion of the Lewellen Bridge, the Nebraska Department of Public Works began designing another multiple-span truss over the North Platte River at Lisco. The Lisco Bridge differed from the Lewellen and Oshkosh structures in that it consisted of eight 80-foot spans. In October 1927 a contract for its construction was awarded to the Western Bridge and Construction Company for $47,600. Using steel fabricated by the Inland Steel Corporation, Western completed the structure during the relatively mild winter of 1927-28. Although originally part of the primary highway system, the Lisco Bridge now carries a county road. It, like the Lewellen Bridge, is distinguished as an important crossing of the Platte River and one of the last two intact multiple-span state aid truss bridges.

Lewellen State Aid Bridge

Lewellen State Aid Bridge County Road over the North Platte River
1 Mile South of Lewellen
Garden County, Nebraska
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.
C003505305P

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.

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